- The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has completed the second review of Mali’s economic performance under a programme supported by the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The decision also allows the government to request a further disbursement amounting to about US$3.1 million, which would bring total disbursements to Mali to SDR 21.99 million (about US$34.1 million).
The IMF also approved Mali's request for a modification of performance criteria related to the domestic financing of the budget for end-December 2009.
The ECF arrangement with Mali was approved on May 28, 2008 for an amount of SDR 27.99 million (about US$45.7 million).
At the conclusion of the Executive Board's discussion on Mali's ECF yesterday, Murilo Portugal, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, stated: “The global recession has had only a limited impact on Mali, and economic performance in 2009 has been good, with solid GDP growth and low inflation. Buoyant gold exports have led to a greater-than-projected improvement of the external current account deficit, and the balance of payments has also benefited from large privatisation revenues and the SDR allocations”.
He further the 2009 programme for Mali has remained on track, though also saying Mali remains vulnerable to climatic and other external shocks.
“The authorities remain committed to prudent economic policies. The draft 2010 budget provides an adequate foundation for continued progress. Maintaining sound macroeconomic policies and further strengthening the structural reform effort will buttress programme objectives of economic growth close to 5 percent and a further decline of inflation. The structural reform programme for 2010 will focus on public financial management and the banking sector,” Mr Portugal said.
He however mentioned that it will be important for Mali to ensure that the revenue from the privatisation of the state telecom company SOTELMA, equivalent to 4 percent of GDP, be used for investments on nonrecurrent expenditures that promote poverty reduction and growth.
“In this regard, the authorities’ intention to keep the underlying fiscal deficit excluding privatization-financed spending to about 1 percent of GDP is welcome,” added Mr Portugal.
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