via IMF team to visit the country next week – NewsDay Zimbabwe February 18, 2016
A TEAM from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be in the country next week for the annual Article IV consultations and the final review of the economic supervised plan on Zimbabwe —the Staff Monitored Programme (SMP).
The team will be in the country from February 24 to March 11, IMF resident representative Christian Beddies said on Tuesday.
The review comes after Zimbabwe has met the quantitative targets set in the first and second reviews under the 15 months SMP programme.
Some of the benchmarks under the third review include submitting to Cabinet amendments to the Public Finance Management Act to strengthen Treasury’s financial oversight of State-owned enterprises and local authorities and amendments to the Procurement Act to tighten the public procurement framework and make it more efficient and transparent.
Zimbabwe also promised to produce a guide on the Indigenisation and Economic Empowerment legislation on the Zimbabwe Investment Authority website.
Zimbabwe had by last year met some of the benchmarks for the third review such as developing draft principles of the ZAMCO Bill for submission to Cabinet and amendments to the Labour Relations Act.
In a letter of intent to IMF managing director Christine Lagarde, Zimbabwe said it remained committed to ensuring that the programme remains on track, given its importance as one of the key steps toward a Fund-supported financial programme and hence the importance of establishing a good track record of implementing sound macro-economic policies.
“To this end, we will continue to monitor the programme at both the technical and political levels. At the political level, the monitoring is coordinated by the Office of the President and Cabinet through monthly meetings,” Zimbabwe said in a letter signed by Finance minister Patrick Chinamasa and central bank governor John Mangudya.
The review comes as Zimbabwe is working round-the-clock to clear its $1,8 billion arrears to IMF, the World Bank and African Development Bank (AfDB). The arrears have to be cleared by June 30. Zimbabwe owes World Bank $1,1 billion, IMF ($110 million) and $601 million to AfDB.
Zimbabwe will secure a medium to long term loan to clear the World Bank arrears. It would use its special drawing rights to clear the IMF debt and use a bridge loan facility arranged by its debt advisors, the African Export-Import Bank, to clear its outstanding arrears to AfDB.
The clearance plan is also anchored on accelerated public enterprises reform and improving public finance management, modernisation of the labour laws and aligning of laws to the Constitution and adhering to the rule of law and the pursuit of an anti-corruption thrust among others.