IMF Executive Board Completes First and Second Reviews Under the Extended Credit Facility Arrangement for Mali, Approves US$11.7 Million Disbursement

By International Monetary Fund (IMF)
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BAMAKO, Mali, December 2, 2014/African Press Organization (APO)/ -- The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) today completed the first and second reviews of Mali's performance under an economic program supported by a three-year Extended Credit Facility (ECF) arrangement. The Board's decision enables the immediate disbursement of SDR 8 million (about US$11.7 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to SDR 14 million (about US$ 20.5 million).

The Executive Board approved the ECF arrangement for Mali on December 18, 2013 for an amount of SDR 30 million (about US$ 43.9 million or 32 percent of quota, see Press Release No. 13/524).

Following the Executive Board's discussion, Mr. Naoyuki Shinohara, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, issued the following statement:

“The economic recovery is under way, but remains fragile, and prospects are clouded by a difficult security situation and the risk of an Ebola epidemic. Serious lapses in public financial management caused delays in the first review of the Fund-supported program and the provision of general budget support. In order to restore business, consumer, and donor confidence, it is essential to tighten the implementation of budget and procurement rules, building on the results of recent official audits.

“The 2015 budget puts public finances back on a sustainable path. It appropriately emphasizes revenue mobilization, priority spending for growth and human development, and limited recourse to domestic financing, leaving room for bank financing of the private sector.

“Further efforts are urgently needed to strengthen public financial management. Tax policy and administration reforms need to be accelerated to raise the tax yield. Tighter expenditure control, supported by improvements in Treasury management, will help prevent the accumulation of arrears. A conclusion of the audit of the outstanding domestic arrears and their rapid clearance will support the economic recovery.

“Reforms aimed at improving the business environment are essential to boost Mali's medium-term growth prospects. Progress in strengthening the financial system, lightening the administrative burden for taxpayers, placing the electricity company's finances on a sustainable footing, and combating corruption will be critical in the period ahead.”