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International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

On June 23, the Committee of African Governors on Voice and Representation met with IMF Managing Director Rodrigo de Rato in Madrid to exchange views on governance reforms in the Fund and on the role of African countries in the reform process. At the meeting, the Governors indicated that they would like to see action on several fronts that they felt had not been adequately addressed in the IMF’s medium-term strategy: protection of Africa’s voting power and voice in the Fund, the need for an additional chair to address the heavy workload of the two Executive Directors representing sub-Saharan Africa, and the underrepresentation of Africans at all staffing levels.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

SDR interest rate, rate of charge on IMF nonconcessional loans outstanding, and dollars per SDR

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

Under a value-added tax (VAT), businesses are refunded the difference between the tax they pay on their purchases and what is collected on taxable sales. Although refunds are straightforward in principle, serious problems often arise in practice, including opportunities for fraud and corruption, while delayed refunds pose particular problems for export-oriented businesses. What can be done to ensure effective and efficient refunds? A recent IMF Working Paper by Graham Harrison and Russell Krelove surveys current practices and proposes a list of best practices.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

On July 1, 1997, the Bulgarian authorities introduced a currency board as part of a stabilization effort aimed at quelling the economic turmoil of the past several years and runaway inflation. In a recent study, The Role of the Currency Board in Bulgaria’s Stabilization, Anne-Marie Gulde of the IMF’s Monetary and Exchange Affairs Department discusses the process leading to the choice of a currency board as a stabilization instrument, its design and implementation, and the lessons to be drawn from its relative success.

International Monetary Fund. External Relations Dept.

The IMF has appointed an external committee of well-known experts to provide the Fund with an independent assessment of the options available to finance its running costs in the future. Until now, the IMF has paid for its operating costs from the interest charges and fees levied on its loans to member countries. But income has fallen short of target recently because of a significant decline in the level of IMF lending, prompting the Fund to explore other sources of funding.