IMF Approved USD 375 Million for Georgia
21 March, 2013
IMF Approved USD 375 Million for Georgia
Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the first and second reviews under the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) and the Stand-by Credit Facility (SCF) arrangement for Georgia and on March 13, 2013 approved around USD 375.7 million of credit in frames of the 24-month SBA and SCF arrangements for Georgia drawn in April of 2012. The sum is evenly divided between the two arrangements. The authorities intend to continue to treat the arrangements as precautionary.
In completing the reviews, the
Executive Board approved the authorities’ request for the waiver of nonobservance of the end-December 2012 performance criterion on the cash deficit of the Partnership Fund.
“Macroeconomic developments have been generally positive, with growth remaining strong and inflation subdued. The fiscal deficit target was met comfortably and reserve accumulation was in line with program objectives. Georgia’s financial sector appears healthy. Reducing the persistently high current account deficit in an orderly manner remains the key macroeconomic challenge. The authorities’ plans for fiscal consolidation, greater exchange rate flexibility, and structural reforms to improve competitiveness will help meet this challenge,” Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, said after the Board discussion on Georgia.
According to him, the budget includes a welcome increase in social spending to protect the most vulnerable while continuing with fiscal consolidation. The proposed measures to support social spending and agricultural development should help promote more inclusive growth. In light of large investment and social spending needs, revenue-enhancing measures may be necessary in the medium term.
“The authorities’ plans to prudently allow greater exchange rate flexibility should help the National Bank of Georgia (NBG) align its monetary policy decisions more closely with its inflation targeting objective. The government’s commitment to maintaining central bank independence and the NBG’s intention to increase monetary policy transparency will contribute to strengthen the policy framework,” Min Zhu elaborated.
He accentuated, that the decision of the Partnership Fund [handling with the state assets] to fully finance a power plant project highlighted the need to strengthen the Fund’s governance and the recent steps taken by the authorities in this regard are welcome. The authorities should work with their development partners to ensure that the new private investment funds contribute to inclusive growth in a transparent, fiscally responsible, and sustainable manner.
“The government is working on an ambitious structural reform agenda, aimed at improving the business environment and boosting competitiveness. Progress in strengthening the rule of law will be critical to the success of the program,” Min Zhu concluded.
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