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IMF Executive Board decision on US$ 2.9 b package tomorrow

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Sri Lanka is on the verge of getting the first tranche of the crucial International Monetary Fund (IMF) Extended Fund Facility (EFF), a four-year US$ 2.9 billion program after an IMF Board Meeting on March 20.

IMF Chief Kristalina Georgieva who recently held an extensive Zoom discussion with President Ranil Wickremesinghe on this issue, is due to present the bailout program for the country to the IMF Executive Board on March 20. The IMF Executive Board members will meet in person at the IMF Headquarters to discuss Sri Lanka’s request for the EFF, IMF sources said.

The IMF officials are due to brief the international media on their decision regarding Sri Lanka’s request for the EFF the following morning (March 21) around 8 a.m. (US Eastern Time Zone). IMF’s Head of the Debt Capital Market Division for Asia Pacific Peter Breuer and senior IMF official Masahiro Nozaki who led several rounds of discussions with Sri Lankan officials will also participate in the media briefing.

State Ministers of Finance Shehan Semasinghe and Ranjith Siyambalapitiya told the Sunday Observer that they expect positive news from the IMF. The agreement is likely to be tabled in Parliament next week.

Last month, the IMF confirmed that Sri Lanka had received assurances from all its major bilateral creditors, including India and China, whose support for debt restructuring has been crucial to unlocking the IMF support.

State Minister of Finance Shehan Semasinghe said the IMF-backed program would restore the country’s macroeconomic stability and debt sustainability. It will also encourage other multilateral and bilateral donors to extend further loans for projects, some of which have been put on hold.

He said it would be necessary to safeguard financial stability, protect the vulnerable, and accelerate the structural reforms to unlock Sri Lanka’s growth potential in the long term.

President Wickremesinghe said recently that Sri Lanka has fulfilled all the 15 conditions put forward by the IMF to gain the EFF. Sri Lanka has sought IMF assistance on 16 previous occasions under different Governments.

(sundayobserver)

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This week’s Cabinet decisions

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A number of decisions have been taken at the Cabinet meeting held yesterday (June 24).

The decisions taken by the Cabinet of Ministers are as follows :

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GoSL pledges to support upcoming Bora Conference

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The Sri Lankan government has pledged full support for the Bora community’s upcoming spiritual conference and annual convention.

Senior Advisor to the President on National Security and Chief of Presidential Staff, Sagala Ratnayaka, directed officials to ensure the event’s success during a meeting at the Presidential Secretariat.

The conference will be held at the Bambalapitiya Bora Mosque and the Sri Lanka Convention and Exhibition Centre from July 07 – 16.

This event will coincide with the Bora community’s spiritual conference in Karachi, Pakistan, and is expected to attract around fifteen thousand participants from various countries, including India.

The meeting highlighted the need for necessary infrastructure and facilities, particularly at the airport, to accommodate the large influx of attendees.

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8,000 UDA flat dwellers to get title deeds

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Urban Development and Housing Minister Prasanna Ranatunga said yesterday that arrangements have been made to provide title deeds to 8,000 residents of the apartments owned by the Urban Development Authority (UDA) next month, under the Government’s programme to provide title deeds to dwellers in such apartments in Colombo.

In addition, the National Housing Development Authority (NHDA) has also planned to give 1,070 title deeds to dwellers living in apartments in Colombo.

He said that this programme will be implemented according to the pledge given by President Ranil Wickremesinghe in the last Budget that 50,000 Colombo flat owners will be given their title deeds.

According to the UDA, 14,559 units of the 22 housing complexes have been given to low-income people.

Accordingly, the granting of title deeds will be made focusing on UDA housing projects of Mihindu Senpura, Sirisara Garden, Methsara Garden, Lakmuthu Sewana, and Sirimuthu Garden under the first phase.

In addition, title deeds of Laksandha Sevana, Randiya Uyana, Lakmuthu Uyana, Muwadora Uyana, Siyapath Sevana, Puradora Sevana, Jayamaga Sevana, Mihijaya Sevana, Helamuthu Sevana, Laksetha Sevana and Lakhiru Sevana housing projects are to be given to its dwellers before the end of this year.

The NHDA will first issue the title deeds for the apartments that have been built in the Colombo Municipal Council areas.

Transferring of ownerships of these houses to dwellers has been delayed due to the problematic situation arising from certain related rules and regulations. The Minister emphasised that he has already discussed with the Attorney General and obtained the necessary advice in this regard.

Minister Ranatunga further stated that all Colombo flat owners will be given their title deeds before the end of this year.

After giving the deeds to the owners of these houses, it is expected to carry out maintenance and management of these houses by a joint management corporation which will be established with the representation of the resident population.

An amount of Rs. 2 billion has been allocated in the 2024 Budget for providing ‘Urumaya’ freehold deeds to all who are eligible to receive and confirm landownership in the next two months.

(dailynews.lk)

 (This story, originally published by dailynews.lk has not been edited by SLM staff)

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