‘We cheated the IMF 16 times before…we have nothing to hide’ – Bandula

Cabinet Spokesman Minister Bandula Gunawardena has assured that facts about the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) received from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will not be hidden from the public, emphasizing that a transparent procedure will be followed.

Speaking at the Cabinet briefing this morning (21 March), the Minister said that President Ranil Wickremesinghe too, has assured that once the IMF agreement is signed, all related matters will be presented before the Parliament.

Commenting on the EFF approved by the IMF to Sri Lanka last night (20 March), Gunawardena explained that as per the agreement, regardless of who comes into power within the next 48 months, the relevant Government must act in accordance with the terms of the agreement, despite being surrounded by political opinions, and must implement the programme.

“We have cheated the IMF 16 times before this by not acting in accordance with the conditions we agreed upon. If that happens again this time, the country will fall into a bigger abyss. Therefore, I believe that it is important to focus on creating a national consensus on working in compliance with the programme, as opposed to working in line with political agendas”, he said.

Moreover, the Minister also said that it is of his personal opinion that those political parties who are against the IMF deal propose their alternative suggestions and potential solutions in this regard before the Parliament, after which it can be debated or voted upon.