- Growth in the Mozambican economy has remained strong despite the food crisis during the last years. Today, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) "commended" the government for its economic policy and approved a US$ 11.84 million disbursement.
The IMF today in a statement said it had completed a review of Mozambique's economic performance with positive results. As a result, Mozambique would be able to draw up to US$ 11.84 million from credits agreed upon earlier. Mozambique has been given IMF credits totalling US$ 122.91 million and has so far drawn US$ 99.23 million under the agreement.
In commenting on the IMF's discussion on Mozambique, Deputy Managing Director Shigemitsu Sugisaki said that Mozambican authorities were to be "commended for a continued satisfactory performance."
Real GDP growth had remained strong, the IMF noted. The official reserves position had strengthened, inflation had declined markedly in 2002 and encouraging progress had been made towards meeting the government's poverty reduction objectives in the areas of health and education, according to Mr Sugisaki.
In completing its review of the Mozambican economy, the IMF had "welcomed the important measures which the authorities have taken to strengthen government revenue, including the adoption of new tax codes and the increase in fuel taxes to correct the erosion from past inflation."
- The recent establishment of a Poverty Observatory is an important step, Mr Sugisaki said. The observatory would facilitate a greater involvement of stakeholders in the poverty reduction process.
According to the IMF study, the Mozambican government's economic program for 2003 was seeking to "sustain rapid growth by maintaining prudent macroeconomic policies and deepening structural reforms."
- To contain the primary fiscal deficit at the 2002 level will require a close monitoring of the government's wage bill and restraint in other non-priority outlays, as well as continued efforts to strengthen tax administration and improve public expenditure management, Mr Sugisaki however warned.
The Mozambican authorities were also moving ahead with a comprehensive reform of the public sector to increase its efficiency and "ensure an adequate allocation of resources to the social sectors over the medium-term."
According to the IMF's review, Mozambican authorities now also were "firmly committed to strengthening the banking system and fostering a healthy competitive environment." The decision to conduct diagnostic reviews of the main banks based on international accounting standards had been an important step in this regard, Mr Sugisaki stated.
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