The Lesotho economy is experiencing a downturn of economic growth, high unemployment and poverty, and fiscal and balance-of-payments pressures. The size of the proposed fiscal adjustment is adequate because it focuses on improvement in the external current account balance and the maintenance of gross international reserves. The current monetary arrangement with South Africa has served Lesotho well. The efforts of the central bank to reduce the wide interest rate spreads, encourage financial intermediation, mobilize domestic savings, and reduce capital flight have been commended.
Lesotho's economy has continued to perform well under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement despite adverse weather conditions and the regional food shortage. Executive Directors welcomed the strategy to achieve higher and sustainable economic growth, reduce poverty, and improve social conditions by creating private sector developments and labor-intensive industries. They appreciated the monetary and fiscal policies, the integration of PRGF objectives with the budget, and the improvement in the tax system. They emphasized the need to accelerate structural reforms and supported the Anti-Corruption Unit.
This paper assesses Lesotho’s Third Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) Arrangement and Request for Waivers of Performance Criteria. The government has declared a state of famine that is affecting an estimated 900,000 people. One quantitative performance criterion for end-March 2002—the ceiling on the government’s domestic financing requirement—was not observed, almost entirely because of delays in external payments. The authorities have requested, and IMF staff supports, a waiver on this performance criterion.
This paper assesses Lesotho’s Fourth Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility Arrangement and Request for Waiver of Performance Criteria. Lesotho’s economic program was broadly on track through December 2002, but large fiscal slippages emerged by end-March 2003. IMF staff welcomes the government’s strong commitment to its economic program and recommends completion of the fourth review. It supports a waiver for the nonobserved quantitative performance criterion because of the actions taken by the government to reduce nonessential spending in 2002/03 and because of its commitment to implement sustainable fiscal policies in the medium term.
This paper examines Lesotho’s Sixth Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) and Request for Waiver of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria. Real GDP growth slowed to 3¼ percent in 2003/04 (April-March) owing to the adverse impact of drought on agricultural output and slower-than-envisaged growth in the construction sector. Fiscal performance in 2003/04 was stronger than envisaged in the program, partly reflecting temporary factors. All quantitative performance criteria for December 2003 and indicative targets for March 2004 were met. The IMF staff supports the key macroeconomic objectives of the authorities’ budget for 2004/05.
The authorities reiterated their firm commitment to the policies and objectives outlined in the May 17, 2010 Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies. They are committed to a reduction in other primary spending by 2 percentage points of GDP. With the medium-term outlook broadly unchanged, the policy discussions focused on the FY2011–12 budget and the authorities’ structural reform agenda. Revenues are projected to fall in 2011–12, reflecting the disappearance of exceptional receipts in 2010–11. On the spending side, the authorities are facing a number of additional commitments—some of which are of a temporary nature.
The Kingdom of Lesotho’s 2005 Article IV Consultation reports that the government’s fiscal position and the external current account have improved markedly. The authorities are preparing an action plan, in collaboration with development partners, to improve the business climate. Critical measures aim to increase labor productivity through training, reduce domestic costs for the private sector by addressing infrastructure bottlenecks, remove regulatory and administrative impediments, improve access to financial services, and promote product and export market diversification.
This paper examines Lesotho’s Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) Progress Report for the period between January and December 2002. The achievements demonstrate that the government of Lesotho has reaffirmed its commitment to a highly participatory approach and process of preparing a community-driven and country-owned national strategy to fight poverty. The effort to measure poverty at the national level, through the National Human Development Index and the Core Welfare Indicator Survey dovetailed with the Household Budget Survey, is progressing well with completion of the latter foreseen by May 2003.
This Joint Staff Assessment reviews the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) Status Report for Lesotho. The report states that the authorities are in the final stages of completing the PRSP and expect to submit it to the Cabinet for approval by mid-October and to the Bank and the IMF by mid-November 2004. Consultations with community-based working and thematic groups were concluded by mid-2003. Subsequently, the authorities carried out detailed exercises regarding costing, development of performance indicators, and document preparation.
This Joint Staff Assessment examines the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) Progress Report for Lesotho. Poverty monitoring and the medium-term macroeconomic framework are areas in which the government has made considerable progress. The government has taken a number of steps to ensure that the PRSP will be completed and presented to the IMF and World Bank by November 2003. The report indicates that the government and participating donors have guaranteed sufficient funds to complete the PRSP.