Chapter

Article V, Section 12(f): Special Disbursement Account

Author(s):
International Monetary Fund
Published Date:
April 1987
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Special Disbursement Account: Structural Adjustment Facility (SAF)—Regulations for Administration—Amendments

Paragraph 5(5) of the Regulations for the Administration of the Structural Adjustment Facility, contained in the Annex to Decision No. 8238-(86/56) SAF, adopted March 26, 1986, shall be amended to read as follows:

“Resources under three-year commitments shall be made available in the form of loans under three annual arrangements approved by the Fund. An annual arrangement may not be approved before the expiration of the preceding annual arrangement, other than under exceptional circumstances. The approval of an annual arrangement under a three-year commitment must precede the expiration of the commitment period.”

Decision No. 8652-(87/105) SAF

July 22, 1987

1. The following paragraph shall be added to the Regulations for the Administration of the Structural Adjustment Facility annexed to Decision No. 8238-(86/56) SAF:

“Paragraph 14

Assistance from the Structural Adjustment Facility, in conjunction with loans from the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility Trust, under the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility established by Decision No. 8757-(87/176) SAF/ESAF, adopted December 18, 1987 shall be governed by these Regulations subject to the following provisions:

(1) The amounts of such assistance shall be identified in any commitment, arrangement, or disbursement under the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility.

(2) Disbursements under each annual arrangement shall be made in two installments, the first after approval of the corresponding annual arrangement, and the second after

  • a finding by the Managing Director that the performance criteria that have been established for that disbursement have been met, and a determination by the Fund that the midterm review of the program supported by the arrangement has been completed to the satisfaction of the Fund, or

  • if so specified in the annual arrangement, a finding by the Managing Director that the performance criteria that have been established for that disbursement have been met.

(3) Disbursements shall be made at the same time as the corresponding disbursements under Trust loans.

(4) If, pursuant to subparagraph (2) above, a second disbursement under an annual arrangement is not made, the period of the three-year commitment may be extended, and the corresponding amount may be made available during the extended period, subject to these Regulations.”

2. In paragraph 6(2) of the Regulations referred to above, the terms “to the Fund as Trustee under the Trust Instrument” shall be replaced by “to the Fund as Trustee.”

Decision No. 8758-(87/176) SAF

December 18, 1987

Special Disbursement Account: Structural Adjustment Facility—Amounts of Assistance—Amendment

Paragraph 2 of Decision No. 8240-(86/56) SAF, adopted March 26, 1986, as amended, shall be amended to read as follows:

“The potential access of each eligible member to the resources of the Facility as of July 22, 1987 shall be 63.5 percent of quota; no more than 20 percent of quota shall be disbursed under the first annual arrangement, and no more than 30 percent of quota shall be disbursed under the second annual arrangement.”

Decision No. 8651-(87/105) SAF

July 22, 1987

Special Disbursement Account: Transfer of Resources from the Special Disbursement Account to the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility Trust and Retransfer to the Special Disbursement Account

1. The following resources held in, or to be received by, the Special Disbursement Account shall be transferred to the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility Trust (“the Trust”)* for its Reserve Account upon the establishment of the Trust or upon receipt of these resources by the Special Disbursement Account, whichever is later:

  • all income already received or to be received from the investment of resources available for the Structural Adjustment Facility within the Special Disbursement Account;

  • all interest already received or to be received, including from special charges, on loans under the Structural Adjustment Facility;

  • all repayments of loans under the Structural Adjustment Facility; and

  • all the resources held in the Special Disbursement Account that are derived from the termination of the 1976 Trust Fund and that can no longer be used under the Structural Adjustment Facility;

provided that the above resources shall be retransferred to the Special Disbursement Account when and to the extent that they are needed for the reimbursement of the expenses incurred by the General Resources Account in the administration of the Structural Adjustment Facility and the Trust, which must be reimbursed in accordance with paragraph 10 of the Regulations for the Administration of the Structural Adjustment Facility and paragraph 3 of this Decision.

2. Whenever the Trustee determines that amounts in the Reserve Account of the Trust exceed the amount that may be needed to cover the total liabilities of the Trust to lenders that are authorized to be discharged by the Reserve Account, the Trustee shall retransfer such excess amounts to the Special Disbursement Account. Upon liquidation of the Trust, all amounts in the Reserve Account remaining after discharge of liabilities authorized to be discharged by the Reserve Account shall be transferred to the Special Disbursement Account.

3. The Special Disbursement Account shall reimburse the General Resources Account annually in respect of the expenses of conducting the business of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility Trust.

4. This Decision replaces Decision No. 8237-(86/56) SAF, adopted March 26, 1986.

Decision No. 8760-(87/176)

December 18, 1987

The Chairman’s Summing Up at the Conclusion of the Discussion on the Structural Adjustment Facility—Review of Experience Executive Board Meeting 87/93, June 19, 1987

The discussion today concludes the first review by Executive Directors of the operation of the structural adjustment facility (SAF). In summing up, I will begin with a few general comments and then turn to some conceptual and more specific operational issues.

1. General observations

Directors expressed strong support for the facility and indicated that they considered it to be an important channel for Fund assistance to low-income developing countries. The explicit orientation of the facility toward the alleviation of structural imbalances and rigidities was considered to be particularly important for these countries, many of which have suffered for many years from low rates of economic growth and declining per capita incomes. Recognizing that the modest amount of assistance available under the facility has been one of the important impediments to its wider utilization, most Directors supported the proposal to raise the amount of second-year disbursements to 30 percent of quota.

Directors expressed concern that the catalytic role that had been envisaged for the facility in mobilizing resource flows from other sources had thus far not materialized. That role remained a crucial one, and they therefore welcomed the indications by the leaders of the major industrial countries at the recent Venice Summit that they strongly supported our initiative to triple the resources available for lending in association with SAF arrangements. Directors urged management to explore all possible options to secure truly additional resources for the SAF. It was emphasized that the role that had been envisaged for the facility would not be fully realized unless the amounts of assistance that countries could obtain under SAF-supported programs were increased to levels that would be more commensurate with the problems that the facility was intended to address. Directors indicated that members who have made use of the facility or are currently negotiating arrangements should not be disadvantaged by prompt use of the SAF, in the event that its enhancement was realized. I am grateful for the indications received from a number of Directors that their authorities stood ready to contribute to the enhanced SAF. I am also pleased to hear that the suggestions which we have made regarding the modalities of financing are in the right direction.

2. Role and content of policy framework papers

Most, but not all, Directors thought that the content of policy framework papers (PFPs) should be further developed and strengthened. Many also stressed that the authorities should play a much greater role than they had so far in the formulation of PFPs. It was noted that policy framework papers should include a more pointed and forward-looking analysis and identification of macroeconomic and structural problems and of the sources of economic growth; a more focused discussion of the authorities’ strategy and the priority to be attached to key structural reforms to be sought over the next three years; a fuller description and assessment of public investment programs; and a discussion of financing requirements and the role of major aid agencies. Most Directors felt that specific policy undertakings in the initial period and general indications of policies to be pursued in the second and the third years should be spelled out in PFPs. Some Directors expressed concern that prior announcement of policy intentions could lead to speculative activities or involve sociopolitical sensitivities. In these cases, it was suggested that the precise timing and exact magnitude of intended changes could be left out of the PFP and could be included in the staff paper on the SAF program.

Directors were of the view that PFPs should contribute to the decision-making process of multilateral aid agencies, with many calling for a more central role for the PFP in guiding the World Bank’s lending strategy. Directors indicated that PFPs should be designed in such a way as to help ensure consistency of policy advice and other activities of aid agencies and to direct aid resources to countries undertaking strong policy reform in amounts that would make such reform efforts viable and sustainable. I took note of the differing views of Executive Directors on the role to be played by bilateral donors in the PFP process. These views will be taken into account in our emerging relations with these donors. The suggestion that the Fund should hold a conference for representatives of aid agencies to familiarize these institutions with the PFP process and discuss the coordination of objectives will also be examined.

Most Directors agreed that PFPs should be revised each year to cover policies and objectives to be pursued by the authorities during the following three-year period. Such a rolling framework would provide for a continuity of policy, which was useful for both the authorities and those supporting the member’s adjustment effort. Other Directors, however, stressed that an updating of the PFP would suffice; in their view a wholesale redesign of the PFP each year would be burdensome for both the staff and the authorities but might be warranted if the facility’s resources were enhanced.

Most Directors agreed that a wide circulation of PFPs was desirable, consistent with the objective of a fuller role for PFPs in the aid coordination process; however, in view of concerns expressed by some Directors, circulation of PFPs has to be subject to the consent of the authorities of the member concerned. Directors encouraged the staff to develop circulation procedures along the lines suggested in EBS/87/46, Supplement 1 (6/9/87).

3. Issues related to the PFP/SAF process

a. Fund-Bank collaboration

Directors emphasized the importance that they attached to the members’ requests for SAF arrangements. They urged the staffs of the two institutions to work closely together to expedite the process and to avoid undue delays. Closer collaboration between the two institutions should not be allowed to lead to cross conditionality. However, for a very limited number of cases in which the Bank was not in a position to contribute to the preparation of a possible SAF operation within a reasonable time period, I take it that Directors would not regard it as an absolute requirement that the Bank be involved in the preparation of the PFP.

A number of Directors were disappointed that the PFP had not been utilized more fully for World Bank policy-based lending. Speakers welcomed the conclusion of IDA-8 negotiations and were pleased in particular that $3.0–3.5 billion was to be used for structural adjustment lending in conjunction, to the extent possible, with the SAF. Several Directors hoped that policies governing use of IDA-8 would be finalized soon and in such a way that would enable IDA to lend in parallel with the SAF, drawing upon the policy undertakings stipulated in the PFP.

b. Staged approach

Directors emphasized that SAF-supported programs should continue to be based on comprehensive and detailed analysis and focused around comprehensive structural reform. However, some Directors indicated that in a limited number of exceptional cases where this was not practicable in the initial stages but where there may be assurance that macroeconomic policies would adequately address the immediate problems and thus improve the environment for structural reform, it would be useful to allow some flexibility and to experiment with a staged approach.

c. Two-step procedure

Most Directors expressed doubts as to whether the additional staff and Board time required by the two-step negotiation process—involving separate Board discussion of the PFP before presentation of the SAF loan request—was worthwhile. They encouraged the staff to present the PFP and the SAF request simultaneously to the Board and to limit use of the two-step procedure to cases in which there were outstanding arrears to the Fund or in which there were major difficulties in the negotiating process or significant doubts about the eventual endorsement by the Board of the policy strategy contained in the PFP. Where a two-step procedure was to be used, staff was encouraged to hold PFP discussions to the extent feasible in the context of Article IV or other discussions with the authorities.

4. SAF-related issues

a. Conditionality

The nature and form of conditionality underlying the request for SAF arrangements that have been brought to the Board thus far was considered by most Directors to be broadly appropriate. Directors reiterated that SAF resources should be provided in support of strong macroeconomic and structural adjustment programs that would remove obstacles to growth and make, as a minimum, substantial progress toward the achievement of a viable balance of payments position during the three-year program period; the programs must provide reasonable assurance of timely repayments of loans from the SAF. A number of Directors, however, urged that conditionality should be more flexible and adapted in light of the objectives, particularly for growth, of the facility.

Because balance of payments viability cannot be attained by many SAF-eligible countries in the absence of increased concessional assistance, SAF programs for these countries would have to be strong so as to provide creditor governments and aid agencies with the assurance of satisfactory macroeconomic policies and the monitoring that they require in order to move forward with their operations in support of policy reform, several Directors stressed. In this connection, the decision of the Paris Club to undertake a debt rescheduling in certain cases on the basis of a SAF arrangement was welcomed.

b. Benchmarks and prior actions

Directors noted that the use of benchmarks was necessary to delineate the expected path of structural reform and to facilitate the evaluation of progress under SAF arrangements. They emphasized that benchmarks should be limited to those few variables that are considered most important for purposes of monitoring the program. Structural benchmarks should be formulated in specific terms so as to provide a clear understanding of the expected path of program implementation. A number of Directors considered that it would be useful to provide a more explicit framework of structural reform in the three-year program by including structural benchmarks that extend beyond the annual program in a few critical areas. While some Directors considered that the use of prior actions in SAF arrangements continued to be appropriate in those cases where much remained to be done and where past performance had been somewhat unsatisfactory, other Directors noted that such use should be exceptional.

c. Protracted balance of payments criterion

While the existence of protracted balance of payments problems should remain a criterion for use of the facility, most Directors emphasized that, a priori, a low-income country satisfied this criterion. They reiterated that the assessment should involve considerable flexibility and should not be based on the mechanical application of statistical indicators.

d. Coincidence between arrangement and program periods

Directors stressed that a significant divergence between the program and the arrangement period should be generally avoided and that there should be an interval of about 12 months between the two disbursements. However, they recognized that there was a need for flexibility in the timing of presentation to the Board of annual SAF arrangements; a normal delay of about three months between the initiation of the annual policy program and its presentation to the Board was acceptable. They indicated that approval of a longer delay should be granted only in exceptional cases. In those cases in which considerable delay had been experienced in the presentation of a first-year program, Directors considered that some shortening of the period between annual disbursements would be appropriate so as to minimize the difference in timing between the approval of the subsequent annual programs and the associated disbursements.

Directors noted that the preparation of PFPs and SAF programs has absorbed a substantial amount of the staff resources of borrowing countries, the Bank, and the Fund, and they directed the staff to look for ways to simplify procedures.

I have noted the call for generalized access to Fund resources by developing countries on a concessional basis, a matter to which we will return in the context of our consideration of the recommendations of the Group of Twenty-Four on the role of the Fund.

The discussion of the first review of the operation of the structural adjustment facility has been most helpful and should contribute to a more effective and efficient operation of the facility. This will be extremely important as we advance our efforts to increase the amount of resources that can be made available to the low-income countries under the facility. The next review of the structural adjustment facility will be held not later than May 31, 1988.

Let me reiterate that I am really grateful for the many expressions of support for the initiative to increase the resources available through the SAF. I intend to report to you frequently on the progress that we are able to make. That progress will depend crucially upon your continuing support.

Special Disbursement Account: Review of Structural Adjustment Facility and Establishment of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility

1. The Executive Board has reviewed the operation of the Structural Adjustment Facility within the Special Disbursement Account, as provided in Decision No. 8241-(86/56) SAF, adopted March 26, 1986.

2.(a) The Executive Board decides to establish a Facility to be known as the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility. Loans under that Facility shall be provided by the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility Trust, normally in conjunction with loans under the Structural Adjustment Facility, on concessional terms, to low-income developing members that qualify for assistance.

(b) The use of resources provided by the Structural Adjustment Facility shall be subject to the Regulations for the Administration of the Structural Adjustment Facility, as amended by Decision No. 8758-(87/176) SAF, adopted December 18, 1987.

(c) The use of resources provided by the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility Trust shall be subject to the provisions of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility Trust Instrument adopted by Decision No. 8759-(87/176) ESAF, adopted December 18, 1987.*

3. Resources provided by lenders that agree to support arrangements under the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility through loans to qualifying members shall be used in association with loans under the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility and in accordance with the arrangements between the Fund and the lenders.

4. The Fund shall review the operation of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility, of the Structural Adjustment Facility, and of the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility Trust, not later than March 31, 1989.

Decision No. 8757-(87/176) SAF/ESAF

December 18, 1987

On the Instrument to Establish the Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility Trust, see Decision No. 8759-(87/176) ESAF on page 7.

See page 7.

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