CB chief’s emphasis on need for broad-based structural reforms | Sunday Observer

CB chief’s emphasis on need for broad-based structural reforms

The Central Bank re-emphasised the need to implement broad-based structural reforms.

“We need to implement broad based structural reforms to accelerate economic growth which is expected to be around 3.5 - 4 percent in 2018. Economic growth will be fuelled by the low oil prices and hydro power generation. This year will be better for the country,” Central Bank Governor Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy told a presentation on ‘The Road Map for 2019 and Beyond’ in Colombo last week.

“It is necessary to be cautious on the data compiled for the economic growth as recording GDP accurately is a challenge. The methodology of GDP data collection needs a lot of surveys. We do not have sufficient resources to conduct surveys of such magnitude. We use proxies. This is where we understate the GDP value,” he said.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank forecast economic growth to be 3.5-4.

“Sri Lanka will complete IMF program in 2019. The facility should be negotiated within the same parameters. We are considering an extension. There is a provision to extend. We need to consider the terms and conditions and how much money we could receive,” he said.

The country’s foreign reserves stand at US $ 6.9 billion at the end of 2018.

The Governor said that the forensic audit on the controversial bond issue will be completed before the year end.

“The forensic audit was not delayed. This is a complex process. We called for expression of interest from people with global practice. People were shortlisted and asked to submit proposals. We are evaluating the proposals. This is done through a Cabinet appointed consultancy procurement committee. This is time consuming,” he said.

“The economic impact of the recent political unrest is difficult to quantify. It will be possible only when we arrive at the Q4 GDP growth figure. It will give us a better idea,” the Governor said. 

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