Sri Lanka’s real Gross Domestic Product will increase to around 6.25% in 2013, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) projects after consultations with the authorities.
The IMF projection follows a staff visit led by John Nelmes, which concluded yesterday, to the island in South Asia to discuss financial support to the country’s economic reforms agenda under an Extended Fund Facility.
The IMF mission welcomed Sri Lanka’s robust growth, a decline in inflation and its commitment to continued fiscal consolidation though high public debt levels remain. It also noted the country’s plan to reduce budget deficit to 5.75% of the GDP in 2013.
However, the IMF was concerned by Sri Lanka’s tax revenues that have fallen to below 11.5% of the GDP, among the lowest in the region, reflecting falling imports, exemptions and issues with tax administration.
The mission discussed the financial performances of the Ceylon Electricity Board and Ceylon Petroleum Corporation, which were adversely affected by last year’s drought, and emphasized the need to move toward cost recovery pricing to place them on a sustainable footing.