Colombo: The International Monetary Fund is likely to fund a new programme besides the existing USD 2.6 billion standby facility extended to Sri Lanka to boost its economy.

"The authorities are succesfully implementing a bold package of policy measures to curb the current account deficit and safeguard reserves and these measures are yielding fruit", John Nelmes the chief of the visiting IMF mission said.

Sri Lanka in April introduced prohibitive import taxes for vehicle imports and devalued the rupees - moves warranted by dwindling reserves in the backdrop of a widening trade deficit.

Nelmes said discussions with Sri Lanka have begun on a fresh programme to help the island's economy which has been growing at a fast pace since the country ended its separatist war three years ago.

Nelmes said the policy adjustment measures had slowed down credit expansion and imports have declined.

The IMF team is currently visiting the island ahead of the release of the final tranche of the USD 2.6 dollar standby facility.

The IMF said the Sri Lankan economy should grow by 6.75 percent in 2012.

Sri Lanka had earlier lowered its growth target to 7.2 from projected 8 percent.


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