COLOMBO (Reuters) -Sri Lanka's parliament approved a crucial anti-corruption bill on Wednesday to improve governance in the crisis-hit country as part of requirements linked to a $2.9 billion bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The legislation was passed without a vote in the 225-member parliament.
"The bill is passed with amendments," Sri Lanka parliament Speaker Mahinda Yapa Abeywardena told lawmakers after more than two dozen pages of amendments were included into the draft legislation during the morning session.
Sri Lanka's economy nosedived into the worst financial crisis in more than seventy years after a severe foreign exchange crunch last year forced the island to default on its foreign debt, which sent inflation soaring and rapidly depreciated its currency.
But the country's fortunes improved after it locked down a $2.9 billion programme with the IMF in March, which included introducing fresh anti-corruption legislation to strengthen governance and bring it in line with the United Nations Convention Against Corruption.
This is the first time an IMF program has been linked to such a measure in Asia.
(Reporting by Uditha Jayasinghe; Editing by Himani Sarkar and Christian Schmollinger)