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Sri Lanka finance minister pledges fiscal discipline

Strict adherence to IMF's demand to cap budget deficit at 3.5% by 2020

Ravi Karunanayake, Sri Lanka's minister of finance, at an investment summit in Hong Kong on March 16. (Photo by Joyce Ho)

HONG KONG -- After a warning from the International Monetary Fund about its thin foreign-currency reserves, the Sri Lankan government has pledged its commitment to strong fiscal discipline in line with conditions stipulated for a bailout by the Washington-based organization.

"We should have a national vision to address burning issues in the economy, including fiscal-sector operations," Ravi Karunanayake, Sri Lanka's minister of finance, told the FinanceAsia Sri Lanka Investment Summit in Hong Kong on Thursday. He said the "best way" for the South Asian island nation to move forward is through "fiscal consolidation" supported by reforms in tax policy and administration.

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