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International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper focuses on macro-critical issues related to governance and corruption in Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Third-party indicators suggest that governance has been poor and corruption widespread in the country. Conducting an audit of the civil service and improving the transparency of its remuneration system, simplifying tax payment processes, and merging the activities of the numerous revenue agencies would boost public efficiency and improve the business environment. Contract enforcement and protection of property rights could be enhanced by insulating the courts from external influence. Limited information on the budget annexes and special accounts and little or no oversight by the central government, Parliament, and civil society, create scope for corruption. The multiplicity of special taxes and fees, some accruing to special accounts outside the Treasury, generate opportunities for corruption and informalization of economic activity. Despite some progress in strengthening public financial management, budget execution remains deficient. The government has formalized the four stages of the expenditure chain and introduced budget commitment plans to align expenditures with revenues.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper assesses the effectiveness of Panama's fiscal framework. The fiscal framework of Panama has played an important role in enhancing fiscal discipline since its establishment in 2009. Since the current fiscal framework went into effect in 2009, the primary balance and debt-to-GDP ratio of the nonfinancial public sector have improved significantly on average compared with those in 2000–08. The fiscal impulse given the output gap also shows that fiscal policy was less procyclical in 2009–15 than in 2001–08. However, there are options to better align the framework with best practice, including reducing unintended procyclicality, increasing transparency, and improving accountability.
International Monetary Fund. Western Hemisphere Dept.
This Selected Issues paper estimates potential output growth and the output gap for Guatemala. Potential output growth averaged 4.4 percent just before the global financial crisis but has since declined to 3.75 percent owing to lower capital accumulation and total factor productivity (TFP) growth. It is estimated at 3.8 percent in 2016, and the output gap has virtually closed. Potential growth is expected to reach 4 percent in the medium term owing to the expected improvements in TFP growth. Policies should also prioritize mobilizing domestic savings to invest and build a higher capital stock.
International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.
This chapter presents the point of view and ideas of Sabina Alkire, an economist. Alkire wants the Multidimensional Poverty Index to be part of a data revolution to guide the fight against poverty. According to Alkire, learning to meditate soothed away what she describes as the temper tantrums of her childhood. The chapter also highlights the fact that an index is only as good as its underlying data, and in emerging market economies that quality is often inadequate. The quest for better poverty metrics coincides with growing doubts about the ability of conventional statistics, especially GDP, to gauge economic growth in the digital economy, let alone well-being, welfare, and environmental sustainability.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper for Peru shows that during the years of strong growth and high commodity prices, the Peruvian authorities have conducted a prudent fiscal policy, maintaining a broadly neutral fiscal stance. During 2004–08, while the revenue-to-GDP ratio increased 3.7 percentage points, the expenditure ratio rose only 0.9 percentage points. Expenditure control focused on current spending and coincided with increasing government investment aimed at enhancing public access to infrastructure and social services. Fiscal policy has also outperformed budgets approved by congress, owing to higher-than-anticipated revenue, as well as the need to limit inflation pressures.
International Monetary Fund
This paper discusses key findings of the Fourth Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility for Armenia. Armenia’s economy performs strongly. All end-December 2006 quantitative and all but one structural performance criteria were observed. The main policy challenges are to broaden economic growth, raise tax revenues, and manage large foreign exchange inflows. Fiscal policy remains appropriate. Meeting the ambitious 2007 revenue target will require broadening the tax base and strengthening administration. The stance of monetary policy is appropriate.