Sri Lanka cenbank chief to take office, no takers for Finance Minister job-sources

COLOMBO (Reuters) -Sri Lanka’s new central bank governor will hold a monetary policy meeting on Friday, a day after he takes office, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters, as the government struggles with an economic crisis.

FILE PHOTO: People walk past the main entrance of the Sri Lanka’s Central Bank in Colombo, Sri Lanka March 24, 2017. REUTERS/Dinuka Liyanawatte

The crisis touched off political chaos this week when the entire cabinet of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa quit, followed by the resignation of the central bank chief, Ajith Nivard Cabraal.

Rajapaksa’s call for a unity government has been rejected by the opposition and even some of his alliance partners, and he is yet to find a new finance minister ahead of scheduled talks this month with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loans.

Protests against shortages of food, fuel, power and medicine have gone unabated. The heavily indebted nation of 22 million people has a severe shortage of foreign currency to pay for imports.

Nandalal Weerasinghe, a former senior deputy governor of the Central Bank of Sri Lanka who has worked with the IMF, will replace Cabraal on Thursday.

“The monetary board meeting will be held on Friday afternoon,” said the source, who declined to be identified before the announcement.

“The policy announcement will very likely be made the next morning after which the new governor is expected to hold a press conference to lay out his…

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