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Mr. Bernardin Akitoby, Mr. Jiro Honda, and Keyra Primus
Raising revenues has been a formidable challenge for fragile and conflict-affected states (FCS), a fact confirmed once again in the COVID-19 crisis. Nonetheless, achieving sizable gains in tax collection in fragile environments is not impossible. This paper—with empirical analyses and case studies—contributes to policy discussions on tax reform in such challenging environments. Our analyses show that many FCS achieved some recovery of tax revenues, even though they found it challenging to sustain the momentum beyond three years. We also find that changes in the quality of institutions (e.g., government effectiveness and control of corruption) are a key contributory factor to their tax performance (much more so than for non-FCS). Next, we look into the tax increase episodes of four countries (Liberia, Malawi, Nepal, and the Solomon Islands). Although each FCS is unique, their experiences suggest two lessons: (i) tax reforms can be pursued even with initially weak institutions; and (ii) strong political commitment is important to sustain reform efforts and realize long-lasting, sizable gains.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper presents Solomon Island’s Requests for Purchase Under the Rapid Financing Instrument and Disbursement Under the Rapid Credit Facility. In order to address the pandemic, the Solomon Islands’ authorities have taken measures to prevent the entry of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), to increase health and containment spending, and to provide targeted support for vulnerable households and businesses. IMF financing will help fill immediate financing needs and catalyze additional financing from its development partners to support the COVID-19 response. The authorities’ immediate policy response has focused on strong and timely containment measures to limit the risk of a local outbreak while reprioritizing spending toward health care. They have also adopted a fiscal stimulus package with measures targeted at providing social assistance, protecting jobs and incomes and stabilizing the domestic economy. Beyond the immediate response to the external shock, the authorities should remain committed to policies that promote inclusive growth and resilience while containing external pressures, protecting financial stability and preserving fiscal sustainability.
International Monetary Fund
This paper proposes that the Executive Board determine that the global COVID-19 pandemic constitutes a Qualifying Public Health Disaster (QPHD) under the Catastrophe Containment (CC) Window of the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), in line with the new QPHD test approved by the Board on March 26. The CCRT has sufficient financial resources for an initial tranche of grant assistance for debt service relief covering eligible debt falling due from all CCRT-eligible members through October 13, 2020. Fundraising efforts continue to secure the financial resources needed to commit future such tranches for CCRT debt service relief, up to a cap of two years. Staff considers that the 25 members requesting CCRT assistance qualify for immediate CCRT relief.