In consultation with the Ministry of Finance (MOF) of Lao PDR, a virtual technical assistance (TA) mission supported by the IMF’s Asia and Pacific Department (APD) was conducted during October 4–29, 2021, by the IMF Statistics Department (STA) and the Capacity Development Office in Thailand (CDOT). This ongoing peripatetic capacity development mission was delivered virtually by the CDOT-based LTX with staggered remote meetings. The TA mainly worked with the Fiscal Policy and Law Department (FPLD) and the External Finance and Debt Management Department (EFDMD) on compilation of government finance statistics (GFS) and public sector debt statistics (PSDS) in line with international standards, as the agreed work plan with the authorities in the April/May 2021 TA mission.
While a carbon tax is widely acknowledged as an efficient policy to mitigate climate change, adoption has lagged. Part of the challenge resides in the distributional implications of a carbon tax and a belief that it tends to be regressive. Even when not regressive, poor households could be hurt by a carbon tax, particularly in countries that rely heavily on carbon-intensive energy sources. Using household surveys, we study how a carbon tax may affect households in the Asia Pacific region, the main source of CO2 emissions. We document a wide range of country-specific policies that could be implemented to compensate households, reduce inequality, and build support for adoption.
Based on internal data, this paper finds that the capacity development program of the IMF’s Statistics Department has prioritized technical assistance and training to fragile and conflict-affected states. These interventions have yielded only slightly weaker results in fragile states than in other states. However, capacity development is constantly needed to make up for the dissipation of progress resulting from insufficient resources that fragile and conflict-affected states allocate to the statistical function, inadequate inter-agency coordination, and the pervasive impact of shocks exogenous to the statistical system. Greater coordination with other capacity development providers and within the IMF can help partially overcome low absorptive capacity in fragile states. Statistical capacity development is more effective when it is tailored to countries’ level of fragility.
International Monetary Fund. Strategy, Policy, & Review Department
Over the course of the pandemic, the Fund has made several modifications to the access limits on the use of Fund’s resources to increase the borrowing space under the hard caps on emergency financing and under the annual limits that trigger exceptional access (EA) safeguards under GRA and PRGT. The current temporarily-increased access limits expire at end-December 2021, and absent policy changes, the limits would return to the lower pre-pandemic levels or to the new PRGT annual access limit. Staff proposes to let all access limits return to pre-pandemic levels (or the new PRGT annual access limit), with the exception of the cumulative access limits for emergency financing instruments, which would be extended at the current level for another 18 months.