The World Bank last week said that Sri Lanka has taken eight Prior Actions to Access the US$100 million Development Policy Financing. A Development Policy Financing (DPF) operation is a lending instrument that provides general budget support to countries for policy and institutional reforms that help them achieve development results.
“The recently signed DPF will support the long-term development of the Sri Lankan economy through a renewed engagement on reforms to eliminate obstacles to private sector competitiveness, enhance transparency and public sector management and improve fiscal sustainability,” the World Bank said.

It noted that in order to move towards achieving these objectives, the Government of Sri Lanka has put in place a number of actions which includes the following:

Pillar 1: Enabling private sector competitiveness

Action 1. The Government of Sri Lanka has: (a) ratified the Protocol annexing the World Trade Organization Trade Facilitation Agreement to the WTO Agreement; and (b) created a National Trade Facilitation Committee (NTFC).

Action 2. The Cabinet of Ministers has approved the establishment of a one stop shop (OSS) for foreign investors aimed at reducing the processing time for investment approval.

Action 3. The Cabinet of Ministers has authorized the drafting of a new Secured Transactions Bill that will include provisions to facilitate the use of movable assets as collateral for bank loans, and to repeal the Secured Transactions Act 49 of 2009.

Pillar 2: Enhancing Transparency and Public Sector Management

Action 4. The Government of Sri Lanka submitted to Parliament a Right to Information (RTI) Bill with wide applicability, extensive proactive disclosure, an independent appeals process, and limited exceptions.

Action 5. The National Audit Bill has been submitted to the Cabinet of Ministers.

Action 6. The Cabinet of Ministers has authorized the Ministry of Finance to draft a Public Finance Bill strengthening preparation, execution and oversight of the budget, as well as oversight of public enterprises.

Pillar 3: Improving fiscal sustainability

Action 7. The Cabinet of Ministers has decided to submit to Parliament a proposal to repeal the Strategic Development Project Act of 2008.

Action 8. The Cabinet of Ministers has approved setting up a debt management unit in the Ministry of Finance.