Asia and Pacific > Sri Lanka

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Mr. Manuk Ghazanchyan, Ricardo Marto, Jiri Jonas, and Kaitlyn Douglass
We use a dynamic small open economy model to explore the macroeconomic impact of alternative public investment scaling-up scenarios, analyzing how improving the efficiency of capital spending and of tax revenue collection affect growth and debt sustainability for three fast-growing Southeast Asian economies: Cambodia, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam. We show that a gradual public investment profile is more favorable than front-loading capital spending because we assume governments are able to gradually learn how to invest more efficiently, accelerating public capital accumulation and therefore growth. We discuss the pros and cons of alternative financing options and identify the financing mix that generates the best macroeconomic outcome. Sometimes overlooked, improving the efficiency of revenue collection over time may ease the burden of fiscal adjustment, achieving higher GDP growth with substantially lower debt-to-GDP ratios, and will help policymakers efficiently meet the challenge of addressing large infrastructure gaps while maintaining debt sustainability.
International Monetary Fund. African Dept.
This Selected Issues paper offers policy recommendations for Senegal to reach high and sustained growth with the goal of exiting low-income country status. For Senegal to reach Plan Sénégal Emergent (PSE) objectives, reforms under the PSE need to create space for small and medium-sized enterprises and foreign direct investment to thrive. Reform of Senegal’s business environment needs to be accelerated. Macrostructural reforms should be stepped up in the energy sector, in which Senegal still ranks 170th in the world. Progress in the electricity sector can be achieved by continuing to improve reliability of supply and reduce electricity costs. Reform of the taxation system, by simplifying procedures and optimizing the tax rates, is another macro-critical area in which Senegal needs to make significant strides.
International Monetary Fund. Asia and Pacific Dept
This paper discusses Sri Lanka’s First Review Under the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and Request for Modification of Performance Criterion (PCs). Performance under the program has been largely satisfactory. All end-June quantitative PCs were met, together with all indicative targets for June. The structural benchmarks due in July–September were not met, but the authorities have been making progress toward their completion which is now scheduled for December 2016. In light of the progress so far and the authorities’ policy commitments going forward, the IMF staff supports the completion of the First Review under the EFF.
International Monetary Fund. Middle East and Central Asia Dept.
This Selected Issues paper reviews Pakistan’s tax regime, evaluates the level and composition of tax revenues, and estimates tax buoyancy and efficiency. Despite recent progress under the program, Pakistan’s tax revenue remains very low relative to comparator developing countries and the tax effort expected for the country’s level of development. This reflects narrow tax bases, overgenerous tax concessions and exemptions, weak and fragmented revenue administrations, and structural features of the economy. The findings suggest that unlocking tax revenue potential requires broadening tax bases, strengthening revenue administration and taxpayer compliance, eliminating distortionary tax expenditures, and rationalizing tax policy for greater efficiency and equity through a comprehensive and front-loaded reform agenda.
International Monetary Fund
The Technical Assistance Report on the Philippines’ road map for a pro-growth and equitable tax system is examined. Tax revenue has declined over the last decade in the Philippines owing to generous and expanding tax incentives, tariff rate reduction, deteriorating tax compliance caused by ineffective and inefficient revenue administration, and a gradual erosion of excise revenue owing to nonindexation. One of the key reasons for providing tax incentives in the Philippines is concern that the country needs to be competitive with other countries in the region to attract foreign direct investment.
Junhyung Park, Mr. Sukhmani Bedi, S. M. Ali Abbas, and Mr. Alexander D Klemm
This paper assembles a new dataset on corporate income tax regimes in 50 emerging and developing economies over 1996-2007 and analyzes their impact on corporate tax revenues and domestic and foreign investment. It computes effective tax rates to take account of complicated special regimes, such as partial tax holidays, temporarily reduced rates and increased investment allowances. There is evidence of a partial race to the bottom: countries have been under pressure to lower tax rates in order to lure and boost investment. In the case of standard tax systems (i.e. tax rules applying under normal circumstances), the effective tax rate reductions have not been larger than those witnessed in advanced economies, and revenues have held up well over the sample period. However, a race to the bottom is evident among special regimes, most notably in the case of Africa, creating effectively a parallel tax system where rates have fallen to almost zero. Regression analysis reveals higher tax rates adversely affect domestic investment and FDI, but do raise revenues in the short-run.
International Monetary Fund
In recent years, the IMF has released a growing number of reports and other documents covering economic and financial developments and trends in member countries. Each report, prepared by a staff team after discussions with government officials, is published at the option of the member country.