Precautionary balances are a key element of the Fund’s multilayered framework to mitigate financial risks. Overall financial risks remain elevated but have not increased significantly since the last review. Staff proposes to leave the medium-term target of SDR 25 billion, and the minimum floor of SDR 15 billion, unchanged at this time. With the projected increase in lending income, the pace of reserve accumulation is expected to remain adequate relative to the medium-term indicative target. The paper also reviews policy factors discussed in recent Board meetings that affect the level and accumulation of reserves.
This paper proposes a package of policy reforms and a funding strategy to ensure that the Fund has the capacity to respond flexibly to LICs’ needs during the pandemic and recovery. The key policy reforms proposed include: • raising the normal annual/cumulative limits on access to PRGT resources to 145/435 percent of quota, the same thresholds for normal access in the GRA; • eliminating the hard limits on exceptional access (EA) to PRGT resources for the poorest LICs, enabling them to obtain all financing on concessional terms if the EA criteria are met; • changes to the framework for blending concessional and non-concessional resources to make it more robust and less complex; • stronger safeguards to address concerns regarding debt sustainability and capacity to repay the Fund; and • retaining zero interest rates on PRGT loans, consistent with the established rules for setting these interest rates.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
The Fund has a range of modalities and tools to cover spillovers. However, there remains scope to enhance synergies between global and country-specific spillover coverage and to foster cross-country dialogue. Practical guidance and enhanced information-sharing would also allow for more systematic surveillance of spillovers. Furthermore, the COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the need to continue expanding the research frontier covering new spillovers and channels and developing new tools and data sets. Therefore, filling these remaining gaps in the Fund’s spillover work would allow for a more coordinated and evenhanded surveillance of spillovers.