Christine Lagarde, the managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), will not be visiting Sri Lanka this month as she had been tentatively scheduled to, the global lender said on Sunday. “Unfortunately, due to an unforeseen change in her schedule, she will not be able to visit the country at that time. She is looking into the possibility of visiting Sri Lanka in the near future,” IMF spokesman Gerry Rice said in a statement.
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A visiting IMF mission is in Colombo to review progress of a $1.5 billion loan approved in the middle of last year. Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake told Reuters that Lagarde’s visit would have been a courtesy call while she was en route to another country in the region. Sri Lanka has been struggling with heavy debts and balance-of-payments pressure.
The government last week approved some tough reforms to make loss-making state firms more efficient and put them on a path towards autonomy, in line with IMF conditions for the loan.