Rahul Anand, Naresh Kumar, and Mr. Volodymyr Tulin
Over the past decade, India has seen a prolonged period of high inflation, to a large extent driven by persistently-high food inflation. This paper investigates the demand and supply factors behind the contribution of relative food inflation to headline CPI inflation. It concludes that in the absence of a stronger food supply growth response, food inflation may exceed non-food inflation by 2½–3 percentage points per year. The sustainability of a long-term inflation target of 4 percent under India’s recently-adopted flexible inflation targeting framework will depend on enhancing food supply, agricultural market-based pricing, and reducing price distortions. A well-designed cereal buffer stock liquidation policy could also help mitigate food inflation volatility.
This 2014 Article IV Consultation highlights that Niger’s overall macroeconomic performance has been broadly satisfactory. After the economic slowdown in 2013 owing to the regional security situation and adverse climatic conditions, economic growth has rebounded in 2014. Inflation has been contained, in part owing to the government’s efforts to improve food security and the functioning of food markets. However, program performance has been mixed, as a combination of unexpected security and food expenditures and a shortfall in external financing have strained fiscal management. In the near term, containing the fiscal deficit through measures to improve tax policy and administration, reform customs administration, and reduce exemptions is essential to ensure sustainability.
Niger’s new Poverty Reduction Strategy (PDES) represents its overarching reference framework for the government’s development agenda. It also proposes changes in policy orientation and institutional arrangements to respond to recent developments in Niger and in the subregion. The PDES was developed in an inclusive participatory process. Overall, it provides a comprehensive analysis of development challenges and a plan to achieve accelerated sustainable growth, identifies key risks to the achievements of the objectives as well as mitigating measures.
The number of Malian refugees in Burkina Faso has increased, but the government’s contribution remains in line with earlier estimates. Growth for 2012 has been revised upward to 8 percent. The overall fiscal deficit is significantly lower than anticipated. The current account is expected to improve next year. There is significant improvement in revenue collection. The authorities are stepping up efforts to improve resilience to shocks. Efforts are under way to improve debt management capacity. The mining taxation regime needs to rebalance the interests of investors.
This Joint Staff Advisory Note describes the progress made on the Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (PRSP) in Sierra Leone on the basis of the June 2008 progress report. The report analyzes key elements of the Poverty Reduction Strategy (PRS), including: macroeconomic performance; good governance, peace, and security; pro-poor sustainable growth for food security and job creation; human resource development; and monitoring and evaluation of the PRS. The progress report correctly indicates that implementation of poverty reduction programs suffered setbacks owing to weak revenue performance and delays in external budget support since late 2006.
Mr. Alex Segura-Ubiergo, Miss Taline Koranchelian, and Mr. Carlos Mulas-Granados
Subsidy reform has been a key component of the pre-accession reform agenda of the 10 new member states that joined the EU in 2004 (EU-10). During the pre-accession period, these countries had to undertake a number of important structural reforms in their economies. One of the most critical reforms was to reduce, and in some cases, eliminate their subsidy programs. This paper analyzes how key subsidy reforms (in state aid to enterprises, agriculture, energy, and transportation) were carried out in the EU-10 during 1995–2005, and explains observed variations across types of subsidies and across countries. Based on an extensive qualitative analysis, the paper draws lessons for future successful reforms of government subsidies. 32B
This paper discusses key findings of the 2006 Article IV Consultation and Third Review Under the Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility for Niger. Macroeconomic performance and policy implementation have been broadly satisfactory. After a drought in 2004, a bumper harvest in late 2005 and good rains in 2006 have helped economic recovery, improved food security, and eased inflation. The fiscal deficit in 2006 is expected to be narrower than programmed, reflecting mainly lower spending on investment and food security.
The objective for net foreign assets was discussed in this paper. Macroeconomic performance under the PRGF arrangement was broadly discussed. Several developments during the second half of 2005/2006 required the authorities to strengthen financial management controls and to make other policy adjustments. To meet additional humanitarian needs, the government expanded its food security operations. The authorities are working with IMF staff and other stakeholders to redefine pro-poor spending for 2006/2007. The government has taken further steps to ensure the viability of the pension system.