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Sri Lanka to cut recurrent budget expenditure by 6pc in 2023

| Updated: January 17, 2023 19:46:59


Devotees pray during the harvest festival of Thai Pongal, a thanksgiving ceremony in which the farmers thank the spirits of nature, the sun and the farm animals for their assistance in providing a successful harvest, at a Hindu temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 15, 2023. REUTERS Devotees pray during the harvest festival of Thai Pongal, a thanksgiving ceremony in which the farmers thank the spirits of nature, the sun and the farm animals for their assistance in providing a successful harvest, at a Hindu temple in Colombo, Sri Lanka, Jan 15, 2023. REUTERS
Sri Lanka's cabinet said on Tuesday that it will cut its recurrent budget expenditure by 6 per cent in 2023 as the country battles its worst financial crisis in seven decades and is seeking support from the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Reuters reports.

The cabinet also approved a proposal to delay salaries of some public employees to manage public finances, cabinet spokesman Bandula Gunawardana told reporters.

"Under successive governments Sri Lanka has printed money to bridge the gap between public revenue and expenditure, but due to the financial crisis and our attempts to get support from the IMF there are restrictions to print money, so the only option is to reduce expenditure," Gunawardana said.

Sri Lanka has to put its massively indebted public finances in order to unlock a $2.9 billion IMF loan that was agreed in September.

"Talks with bilateral lenders including India and China to restructure Sri Lanka's debt are progressing well and we are hopeful of finalising support from the IMF in the first quarter of 2023," he added.

The country's central bank expects Sri Lanka's economy to record a gradual recovery from the second half of 2023 and to sustain growth momentum beyond that.

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