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Mark Baird and Sudhir Shetty

This paper describes why the international community needs to act now to stand a chance of meeting the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). The paper gives example of Ethiopia, one of the poorest countries in the world, with an estimated per capita income of about US$100. According to the World Bank, recent national household surveys find 44 percent of the people in Ethiopia cannot meet basic needs. The paper discusses that Ethiopia in many ways epitomizes why the MDGs are important and why more money is needed to achieve them.

Mario Pessoa, Andrew Okello, Artur Swistak, Muyangwa Muyangwa, Virginia Alonso-Albarran, and Vincent de Paul Koukpaizan
The value-added tax (VAT) has the potential to generate significant government revenue. Despite its intrinsic self-enforcement capacity, many tax administrations find it challenging to refund excess input credits, which is critical to a well-functioning VAT system. Improperly functioning VAT refund practices can have profound implications for fiscal policy and management, including inaccurate deficit measurement, spending overruns, poor budget credibility, impaired treasury operations, and arrears accumulation.This note addresses the following issues: (1) What are VAT refunds and why should they be managed properly? (2) What practices should be put in place (in tax policy, tax administration, budget and treasury management, debt, and fiscal statistics) to help manage key aspects of VAT refunds? For a refund mechanism to be credible, the tax administration must ensure that it is equipped with the strategies, processes, and abilities needed to identify VAT refund fraud. It must also be prepared to act quickly to combat such fraud/schemes.
International Monetary Fund

Abstract

This volume is the Seventh Issue of Selected Decisions of the IMF and Selected Documents. It contains the decisions, interpretations, and resolutions of the Executive Directors and the Board of Governors of the IMF to which frequent reference is made in the current activities of the Fund. In addition, the volume contains certain documents relating to the IMF and the United Nations. This issue contains most of the decisions that were published in earlier issues but not decisions that have ceased to be effective or that are referred to less frequently than in the past. A substantial part of this volume is devoted to decisions taken by the IMF since the last issue. With few exceptions, the decisions in this volume are general in application and relate to obligations, policies, or procedures under the Articles of Agreement. Subject to the few exceptions referred to, decisions that affect individual members are not included. Decisions of the Fund that are included in the By-Laws and the Rules and Regulations are general in application but are not reproduced in this volume.