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Patrick Petit, Mario Mansour, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
Fighting the obesity epidemic has so far proven a difficult challenge, given the diversity of natural and processed foods, the complexity of food supply chains, and the fact that targeting excessive caloric consumption is far trickier than reducing overall consumption (as for tobacco). Nevertheless, efforts to curb caloric intake are gearing up and the experience from tobacco control has drawn much attention on a potential role for excise taxes in fighting obesity. Many related questions have therefore been raised as part of the IMF’s capacity development work: Should excises on unhealthy food be used to fight obesity? If so, under what conditions? What are the product and market characteristics that would help identify the relevant tax bases and the rates at which to tax them? While acknowledging that the scientific evidence keeps evolving, this note summarizes the ongoing debate and practice on food excises and on their potential role as a policy tool to fight the obesity epidemic, with a view to assist policymakers in deciding whether to go forward, and if so, how.How to Apply Excise Taxes to Fight Obesity
International Monetary Fund
From the discussions, the paper reveals the vulnerability of the Azerbaijan banking system to conventional risk factors. Despite a stable macroeconomic environment and high margins of intermediation, the profitability of the banking system is on the decline. There has been an increase in the unemployment rate, maternal mortality rates, drop-out rates, and widespread use of unofficial user charges. The role of fiscal and monetary policies in response to an oil boom should be to facilitate a smooth transfer of resources from the non-oil traded sector.
International Monetary Fund
During most of the 1980s, Burkina Faso followed a development strategy based on central planning and pervasive controls that resulted in large macroeconomic imbalances. The consumer price index in Burkina Faso is influenced not only by the supply of domestically produced foodstuff, mainly cereals, but also by the fixed exchange rate regime. Monetary policy is conducted within the framework of the West African Economic and Monetary Union. The reform strategy has revived the cotton sector. Both transportation and labor costs have been reduced for the cotton sector.
International Monetary Fund
The second Annual Progress Report (APR) evaluates progress of Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) implementation aimed to promote growth and reduce poverty of São Tomé and Príncipe. The report recognizes the need to tighten fiscal and monetary policies to safeguard macroeconomic stability, emphasize on strengthened implementation of public financial management reforms, and achieve MDGs, particularly in health and education. It also stressed the need to review oil prospects in future reports. The APR emphasizes on the importance of debt relief, strong policy implementation, and greater coordination with the country’s development partners.
International Monetary Fund
Statistical data and issues are discussed in this paper. Mauritania reached the completion point under the enhanced Initiative for Heavily Indebted Poor Countries. In July 2004, a new economic team took actions to tighten fiscal and monetary policies. The authorities intend to adopt sound principles for oil revenue management and tracking (various frameworks, such as the one proposed in the Extractive Industry Transparency Initiative, are under consideration). Executive Directors welcomed the authorities’ willingness to prepare for the transition to a more flexible exchange rate.
Nicoletta Batini, Ian W.H. Parry, and Mr. Philippe Wingender
Denmark has a highly ambitious goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 70 percent below 1990 levels by 2030. While there is general agreement that carbon pricing should be the centerpiece of Denmark’s mitigation strategy, pricing needs to be effective, address equity and leakage concerns, and be reinforced by additional measures at the sectoral level. The strategy Denmark develops can be a good prototype for others to follow. This paper discusses mechanisms to scale up domestic carbon pricing, compensate households, and possibly combine pricing with a border carbon adjustment. It also recommends the use of revenue-neutral feebate schemes to strengthen mitigation incentives, particularly for transportation and agriculture, fisheries and forestry, though these schemes could also be applied more widely.