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International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This Selected Issues paper discusses various aspects of goods and service tax (GST) on India’s tax policy. Dual rate structure with a low standard rate and an additional higher rate on select items can be progressive and preserve revenue neutrality, while streamlining exemptions would further contribute to progressivity and reduce compliance and administrative costs. Simplifying the GST is possible without imposing a significantly higher burden on the poor. There are likely significant benefits from lower costs of compliance and administration. The literature on value added tax (VAT) compliance costs shows that there is broad variation across countries; however, there is a consensus that compliance costs are regressive and administrative costs increase with complexity. While evidence on India is nascent and remains to be assessed as experience with the GST is gained, anecdotal evidence from large firms indicates sizable increases in costs, which may be even more burdensome for smaller firms. Streamlined rates would also weaken incentives to lobby for lower rates.
Mr. Rabah Arezki, Mr. Christian Bogmans, and Mr. Harris Selod
This paper is the first to provide both theoretical and empirical evidence of farmland globalization whereby international investors directly acquire large tracts of agricultural land in other countries. A theoretical framework explains the geography of farmland acquisitions as a function of cross-country differences in technology, endowments, trade costs, and land governance. An empirical test of the model using global data on transnational deals shows that international farmland investments are on the aggregate likely motivated by re-exports to investor countries rather than to world markets. This contrasts with traditional foreign direct investment patterns where horizontal as opposed to vertical FDI dominates.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

L’édition d’octobre 2013 des Perspectives économiques régionales de l’Afrique subsaharienne passe en revue de manière exhaustive les perspectives de croissance de la région ainsi que les principaux risques qu’elles renferment. De manière générale, la croissance devrait rester solide en dépit d’une révision à la baisse depuis l’édition de mai 2013. Le présent rapport analyse les ressorts de la croissance dans les pays d’Afrique subsaharienne dépourvus de ressources naturelles et examine les risques liés à la volatilité des flux de capitaux qui pèsent sur les pays pionniers à mesure qu’ils s’intègrent de plus en plus aux marchés de capitaux internationaux.

International Monetary Fund. African Dept.

Abstract

The October 2013 Regional Economic Outlook: Sub-Saharan Africa provides a comprehensive report on the prospects for growth in the region, as well as the major risks to the outlook. Generally, growth is expected to remain strong despite a downward revision since the May 2013 report. The report analyzes drivers of growth in nonresource-rich sub-Saharan African countries, and examines the risks to frontier market economies of volatile capital flows as they become more integrated with international capital markets.

Ms. Meral Karasulu and Mr. Sergei Dodzin

Technology is generating a global convergence. A "big bang" of information—and education as well—is improving human lives. And with global interconnectivity growing by leaps and bounds, we are all witness to a rapid spread of information and ideas. But, as we have seen from the prolonged global financial crisis, our interconnectedness carries grave risks as well as benefits. This issue of F&D looks at different aspects of interconnectedness, globally and in Asia. • Brookings VP Kemal Devis presents the three fundamental trends in the global economy affecting the balance between east and west in "World Economy: Convergence, Interdependence, and Divergence." • In "Financial Regionalism," Akihiro Kawai and Domenico Lombardi tell us how regional arrangements are helping global financial stability. • In "Migration Meets Slow Growth," Migration Policy Institute president Demetrios Papademetriou examines how the global movement of workers will change as the economic crisis continues in advanced economies. • "Caught in the Web" explains new ways of looking at financial interconnections in a globalized world. • IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde provides her take on the benefits of integration and the risks of fragmentation in "Straight Talk." Also in this issue, we take a closer look at interconnectedness across Asia as we explore how trade across the region is affected by China's falling trade surplus, how India and China might learn from each others' success, and what Myanmar's reintegration into the global economy means for its people. F&D's People in Economics series profiles Justin Yifu Lin, first developing country World Bank economist, and the Back to Basics series explains the origins and evolution of money.

International Monetary Fund

Progress on fiscal policy during 2006/07 in Malawi was slower than expected. The 2006/07 (July-June) fiscal strategy focused on reducing domestic debt. In the third Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) review, the end-June target for domestic debt repayments was increased substantially. Domestic borrowing exceeded the adjusted target at end-December 2006 by MK 4.1 billion (0.9 percent of GDP). The government partially redressed this overrun by curtailing discretionary spending in the fourth quarter, as the scale of the end-December overrun became clear.

International Monetary Fund
The statistical data on real gross domestic product, agricultural products, indicators of economic activity, consumer price index, population and labor market of Tonga has been detailed. The data on central government revenue, and current expenditure, national debt, Tonga trust fund, public sector enterprises, monetary survey, accounts of the national reserve bank, bank credit by sector, accounts of the Tonga development bank, interest rate structure, exports by major commodity, imports by commodity, category, and sector, external debt and debt service, and related economic indices have been presented.