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Bjorn Larsen and Anwar Shah

For the latest thinking about the international financial system, monetary policy, economic development, poverty reduction, and other critical issues, subscribe to Finance & Development (F&D). This lively quarterly magazine brings you in-depth analyses of these and other subjects by the IMF’s own staff as well as by prominent international experts. Articles are written for lay readers who want to enrich their understanding of the workings of the global economy and the policies and activities of the IMF.

Ms. Era Dabla-Norris

There is a widespread belief that underground economies arise from high statutory tax rates and excessive, but poorly enforced, government regulation. Whatever their causes, underground economies can impede macroeconomic performance and undermine economic growth. A recent IMF Working Paper, “An Analysis of the Underground Economy and Its Macroeconomic Consequences,” by Era Dabla-Norris and Andrew Feltenstein, explores the interaction between fiscal policy, underground economies, and economic performance.

International Monetary Fund

During the twin crises of 2008–09 Georgia’s foreign exchange reserves have been exposed to a number of external and internal drains. Its exports declined by 21 percent from peak to trough. Bank deposits declined by more than 20 percent in late 2008–early 2009, while deposit dollarization increased sharply. FDI declined from 16.4 percent of GDP in 2007 to an estimated 5 percent of GDP in 2010. Georgia was able to limit the impact of these drains on its international reserves.

International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper discusses measures required to enhance nonhydrocarbon revenue to support fiscal consolidation in Qatar. Qatar depends heavily on the hydrocarbon sector for exports and revenue receipts. The authorities have embarked on fiscal consolidation, underpinned by cuts to current expenditures and enhanced efforts to raise additional revenue. Safeguarding Qatar’s wealth to ensure intergenerational equity and ensure adequate resources for the implementation of the second National Development Strategy would entail increased mobilization of nonhydrocarbon revenue in the near to medium term. Exploring other sources of tax revenue to diversify the government revenue structure and build a stable tax revenue base is also critical.
International Monetary Fund
This Selected Issues paper on Azerbaijan highlights that rapid non-oil growth since the onset of the oil boom has contributed to substantial reduction in poverty and inequality. To keep growth inclusive, there is a need to accelerate economic diversification and make the nonhydrocarbon private sector a self-sustaining engine of growth. Policy priorities include strengthening governance and the business environment and improving human capital and productive infrastructure to enhance the productivity of private investment. Expanding the relatively well-targeted social safety net will ensure coverage of the vulnerable groups.
International Monetary Fund. Legal Dept.
This technical assistance report on Mongolia was prepared by a staff team of the International Monetary Fund as background documentation for the periodic consultation with the member country. It is based on the information available at the time it was completed in June, 2012. The views expressed in this document are those of the staff team and do not necessarily reflect the views of the government of Mongolia or the Executive Board of the IMF.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This technical assistance report on Republic of Armenia advices on advises on strategic choices for tax administration and compliance risk management. It complements the March 2018 tax administration mission, which provided the State Revenue Committee (SRC) with general guidance to develop and implement a compliance improvement framework. Armenia’s tax policy setting creates challenges for the SRC to effectively manage tax compliance. The Government’s tax policy framework is likely to create new noncompliance opportunities and result in revenue leakages. Strengthened fundamental functions and processes are needed for the delivery of effective tax administration. Two issues raised in the 2018 tax administration mission report need to be highlighted again. The mission provided an analysis of SRC case selection and advised on the adoption of analytical tools to achieve better results. The SRC’s current additive risk rule scoring approaches need to be supplemented by predictive modeling giving better predictions and prioritization of the likelihood and potential consequences of noncompliance—the use of such model is envisaged in the SRC’s draft strategic plan.
International Monetary Fund. Fiscal Affairs Dept.
This paper discusses Malian mining taxation. Mali’s industrial mining sector is predominantly gold mining, with six industrial mines currently active. Most of the mines are old, but some have substantial reserves; extensions are planned for the Syama, Morila, Kalama, Tabakoto-Segela, and Loulo-Gounkoto mines. The Fiscal Analysis for Resource Industries model was completed for five new projects with recent feasibility studies. The government revenue contributed by the five new projects is on the order of US$1.7 billion (constant dollars) over the next 10 years. The application of the 1999 or 2012 Mining Code increases the government’s share of income in comparison with the 1991 code.