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IMF Executive Board approves Sri Lanka’s program

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has announced that the IMF Executive Board approved Sri Lanka’s program under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

The program will allow Sri Lanka to access financing of up to US$ 7 billion from the IMF, International Financial Institutions (IFIs) and multilateral organizations.

This is a historic milestone for the country as the Government seeks to restore macroeconomic stability and achieve debt sustainability.

Earlier this month, Sri Lanka received IMF-compatible financing assurances from its official creditors, including Paris Club members, India and China, allowing the IMF to convene an Executive Board and consider Sri Lanka’s request for a loan.

The program is expected to provide much-needed policy space to drive the economy out of the unprecedented challenges and instill confidence amongst all the stakeholders.

President Ranil Wickremesinghe welcomed the announcement:

“In the 75 years of Sri Lanka’s independence, there has never been a more critical period for our economic future. Our official creditors have declared their support following continuous and positive engagements over the last few months, and we are pleased that the IMF Executive Board approved our program, enabling Sri Lanka to access up to US$ 7 billion in funding from the IMF and IFIs. From the very start, we committed to full transparency in all our discussions with financial institutions and with our creditors. I express my gratitude to the IMF and our international partners for their support as we look to get the economy back on track for the long term through prudent fiscal management and our ambitious reform agenda.

Since taking office last July, it has been my priority to stabilize Sri Lanka’s economy and achieve sustainable levels of debt. To do so, we have taken some tough decisions, but we did so with a commitment to widening our social safety nets, protecting the vulnerable, rooting out corruption and ensuring we can grow an inclusive and internationally attractive economy. The IMF program is critical to achieving this vision for our country, and we are committed to successfully completing the IMF program and achieving debt sustainability. We will continue to engage with all our creditors, and I encourage both our bilateral and commercial creditors to strengthen and foster coordination in the context of our forthcoming engagement. The IMF program will also be imperative to improving Sri Lanka’s standing in and access to international capital markets, and it will demonstrate that Sri Lanka is once again a country attractive to talent, investors and tourists.”

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Litro slashes gas cylinder prices

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Litro Gas Lanka, one of the country’s two leading suppliers of domestic Liquefied Petroleum (LP) gas, has decided to slash the prices of its products.

The price reduction will be effective from midnight tomorrow (June 04), according to Litro chairman and CEO Muditha Peiris.

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Three state bank employees arrested for stealing pawned gold jewellery

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The Criminal Investigation Department (CID) has arrested three employees of a state bank in Oddamavadi for stealing pawned gold jewellery to the tune of LKR 20 million.

According to the police, among the arrestees are the deputy manager, operations manager and the service assistant of the said state bank.

The trio is accused of stealing pawned 873g of gold jewellery from the safety-deposit box of the state bank.

The CID team had initiated probes into the matter after receiving a complaint about several pieces of gold jewellery that had gone missing from the depository of the bank.

An individual, upon visiting the bank to retrieve the gold jewellery he had pawned in November last year to obtain a loan, had learned that the items were, in fact, missing. After conducting an inspection, the bank employees realized that 13 packets of gold jewellery have been disappeared from the depository.

The bank’s management has suspended the duties of the deputy manager over the incident.

During the interrogations, he had confessed that two other female employees – an operations manager and a service assistant – too were complicit in the theft. They were later placed under arrest by the CID investigators.

They had used the depository keys which were in their possession to steal the gold jewellery on three occasions.

After stealing 13 packets of gold jewellery, the trio had sold them to gold jewellery shops in the area for LKR 13.7 million out of which LKR 5.7 million was retained by the deputy manager to settle a loan. The operations manager, meanwhile, held on to LKR 5 million, which she deposited in a bank for her daughter. The service assistant had purchased a three-wheeler and a piece of land from the LKR 3 million she received.

The trio was remanded until June 16 after being produced before the Valachchenai Magistrate’s Court on Friday (June 02).

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3 sluice gates of Kukule Ganga reservoir opened

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Three of the four sluice gates of Kukule Ganga reservoir were opened this evening (June 02) as heavy rains were experienced in the catchment areas.

The authorities have advised the people living in low-lying areas of the Kukule Ganga reservoir to be on alert of possible floods.

It is reported that the water levels of the reservoir have increased at an alarming rate after the downpours in the water catchment areas.

Meanwhile, the Irrigation Department issued an ‘Amber’ flood warning for the upper catchment areas of Kuda Ganga sub-basin of Kalu River after heavy rainfall was received.

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