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Michele Andreolli and Aidar Abdychev
This paper analyses a large public investment in a construction of a hydropower plant in Lesotho and its implications on the growth and debt sustainability. The paper employs an open economy dynamic general equilibrium model to assess the benefits of a large public investment through growth-enhancing increase in domestic energy supply and receipts from selling electricity abroad to ease the fiscal burden, which is often associated with big investment projects. During the transition (construction stage), various financing options are explored: increase in the public debt, increase in domestic revenue (fiscal adjustment), and combination. The calibration matches Lesotho's data and it captures the project's main challenges regarding the project costs. Moreover,the key remaining issue is the agreement with South Africa to purchase sufficient amount of electricity to allow the potential plant to run at a high capacity. We find that, the project can lead to sizable macroeconomic benefits as long as costs are relatively low and demand from South Africa is sufficiently high. However, the risks for the viability of the project are high, if these assumptions are violated.
International Monetary Fund
The IMF Executive Board’s consideration of Côte d’Ivoire’s request for additional interim assistance under the Enhanced Heavily Indebted Poor Countries (HIPC) Initiative is discussed. The 2009 fiscal targets under the program were broadly met, and all but two quantitative performance criteria for end-December 2009 were observed. The performance criterion on the overall fiscal balance was missed by a small margin. Sufficient financing assurances regarding the enhanced HIPC Initiative from other external creditors are in place and represent just over 95 percent of Côte d’Ivoire’s external debt stock at end-2007 terms.
Mr. Tapio Saavalainen and Joy Mylène ten Berge
Quasi-fiscal deficits of public utility companies are common in all member countries of the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS). They constitute a significant impediment to efficient resource allocation and endanger macroeconomic stability. This paper presents a simple framework for measuring and monitoring such deficits and highlights their macroeconomic relevance. It reviews the progress under IMF conditionality aimed at correcting these imbalances during 1993-2003. The paper suggests that the extensive conditionality under the IMF-supported programs has yielded only limited progress in reducing the energy sector's financial imbalances. In conclusion, different policy options are discussed in light of the lessons learned.
International Monetary Fund
The econometric results show that it is feasible to estimate robust price and inflation equations for Georgia. The long-term price equation expresses prices as a function of money, the exchange rate, and real income and may be interpreted as portraying equilibrium in the goods market. The paper also represents statistical data of transportation indicators, population and employment, personal income tax, monetary survey, average monthly wages, developments in commercial banking, interest rates, prudential indicators of commercial banks, balance of payments, and so on.
Mr. Aleh Tsyvinski, Mr. Martin Petri, and Mr. Günther Taube
A decade into the transition, many of the successor states of the former Soviet Union (FSU) continue to use energy sector quasi-fiscal activities (QFAs), especially low energy prices and the toleration of payment arrears, to provide large implicit and untargeted subsidies. These activities disguise the overall size of the government, cause overconsumption and waste, and contribute to macroeconomic imbalances. This paper analyses such activities in FSU countries, with particular emphasis on two case studies (Azerbaijan and Ukraine). The paper's policy conclusions point to the need to increase energy prices, combined with a strengthening of safety nets to protect the poor, better enforcement of payment discipline, and more efforts to achieve fiscal transparency.
International Monetary Fund
This report provides an overview of the recent economic developments in Armenia by analyzing its output growth, prices, wages, employment, public finances and social safety net, monetary and exchange rate developments, balance of payments, external debt developments, and exchange and trade system. The study evaluates the tax system reforms; outlines the present structure of the energy and other major quasi-fiscal sectors, and reviews the causes of the financial imbalances. The appendix provides a characterization of the publicly-owned utility providers that contribute to the financial problems of the energy sector.
International Monetary Fund
Against the backdrop of a serious deterioration in its terms of trade and a large reversal of private capital flows following the Russian crisis in August 1998, the Tajik economy has entered a period of adjustment. Output growth has slowed down, inflation has flared up, and the exchange rate has weakened. More recently, macroeconomic stability has restored as the authorities have embarked on a strong adjustment path in response to adverse external developments and to correct the slippages in policy implementation during 1999.