Sri Lanka to replace ‘unrealistic’ budget, in talks to extend World Bank aid

Sri Lanka plans to replace its current “unrealistic” budget and is in talks with the World Bank to extend its support by $300 million to $700 million, the country’s finance minister said on Wednesday.

The island nation, hit hard by COVID-19 and short of revenue after steep tax cuts by President Gotabaya Rajapaksa’s government, is critically short of foreign exchange and has sought an emergency bailout from the International Monetary Fund.

Rampant inflation and shortages of imported food, fuel and medicines have led to weeks of protests that have occasionally turned violent.

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