This Technical Assistance report discusses options to revamp the 2013 Fiscal Responsibility Act (FRA), taking into account the challenges posed by the current context in Maldives. The government has not met the FRA’s numerical targets for fiscal deficits and public debt. In order to ensure fiscal sustainability and enhance transparency, the Maldivian authorities are committed to introducing a new FRA in 2021. The Government needs firm and credible targets for debt and fiscal deficits in its debt-reduction efforts; however, past experiences of noncompliance with the numerical fiscal rules has undermined its credibility. A principles-based approach, accompanied by strong accountability requirements, would provide the authorities with the flexibility to respond to adverse macroeconomic developments. The new FRA would clearly define the specific roles of Parliament and the Auditor General in the fiscal responsibility framework. This report suggests enhancing fiscal oversight by strengthening the role of Parliament and the Auditor General. The report also identifies several areas of public financial management that should be addressed in other PFM laws for the successful implementation of the new FRA.
This Technical Assistance Mission has been undertaken to support the Bank of South Sudan (BSS) in improving external sector statistics (ESS). The recommendations made during the 2018 mission for the recording of oil exports and transactions with Sudan under the Transitional Financial Agreement were implemented by the BSS. The mission worked toward enhancing the inter-agency cooperation by meeting with selected public sector bodies, providing them with an overview of the balance of payments and the data that the BSS will request from them. Before the end of the mission, requested data from one of the entities, the Civil Aviation Authority was provided. A work program was developed to conduct a visitor expenditure survey and a preliminary International Reserves and Foreign Currency Liquidity template was submitted to IMF’s Statistics Department for review. In order to support progress in the various work areas, the mission recommended a detailed one-year action plan, with the several priority recommendations carrying weight to make headway in improving ESS reliability.
This Fiscal Transparency Evaluation (FTE) assesses the quality of fiscal reporting in Kenya against the principles set out in the Fiscal Transparency Code. Kenya has experienced a lot of structural and economic changes since 2014. One of the key objectives of this FTE is to estimate Kenya’s balance sheet, and to cover as many as possible of the entities in the public sector. The coverage of Kenya’s reporting of fiscal statistics has improved considerably. The report discusses that Kenya continues to perform well in the overall transparency of its fiscal forecasting and budgeting practices (Pillar II of the Code), which is based on a strong legal framework. It does so against a backdrop of significant ongoing reforms, including far-reaching fiscal devolution to counties, and the introduction of performance-based budgeting. A recent important change in the law is expected to synchronize the submission and approval of the government’s spending proposals and the tax measures in the Finance Bill. The recommendations set out under each of the pillars of this report aim to address several challenges. The report also encourages the authorities to continue with the implementation of the recommendations set out in the 2014 report, on which good or satisfactory progress has been made in about half the cases.
This Selected Issues paper discusses growth strategy for Ghana. Ghana has achieved impressive development gains over the last decades, with rising incomes, lower poverty, and better health, education, and gender outcomes. However, growth has recently become less inclusive, with high inequality and slower poverty reduction. In order to address these challenges, the authorities are pursuing a “Ghana beyond Aid” development strategy centered around agricultural modernization and export-led industrialization. Accelerating productivity growth calls for fostering competition, improving the business environment, strengthening human capital, taking advantage of growing regional markets and industrial policies that prioritize sectors that can export and innovate and where Ghana could achieve economies of scale. Consistent and predictable government policies can help increase long-term investment and improve public spending effectiveness. A key lesson from growth accelerations in other countries is that it is crucial to achieve economies of scale. In most cases, rapid economic growth required achieving export success in specific sectors.
International Monetary Fund. Monetary and Capital Markets Department
This Technical Assistance Report discusses the findings and recommendations made by the IMF mission regarding monetary and foreign exchange operations in Uganda, Bank of Uganda (BOU) recapitalization, and Bank of Uganda Act revision. The presence of sizable precautionary and involuntary reserves and excessive short-end volatility has weakened the transmission mechanism in Uganda. The key challenge remains to enhance monetary and fiscal policy coordination and to ensure that institutional and operational arrangements are robust and conducive to efficient monetary operations framework. The BOU should raise the effectiveness of the monetary and foreign exchange operations framework. To foster further market development there is need to anchor short-term interest rates by using various fine-tuning instruments to ensure improved operational efficiency and strengthen transmission of policy signals across the curve.
This paper evaluates the status of fiscal transparency in Uganda, where some key elements of fiscal transparency are in place. These have been augmented in recent years through a number of reforms. The Public Finance Management Act 2015 specifies the budget calendar, the main contents of budget documents, and the roles of the legislature and the executive in the budget process. There are some problems with the coverage, quality, and reliability of some information. Improving fiscal transparency will give the government a better understanding of the fiscal position and its exposure to fiscal risks, which will support effective fiscal and budget management in the face of these challenges.
Charles Abuka, Ronnie K Alinda, Ms. Camelia Minoiu, José-Luis Peydró, and Mr. Andrea F Presbitero
The transmission of monetary policy to credit aggregates and the real economy can be impaired by weaknesses in the contracting environment, shallow financial markets, and a concentrated banking system. We empirically assess the bank lending channel in Uganda during 2010–2014 using a supervisory dataset of loan applications and granted loans. Our analysis focuses on a short period during which the policy rate rose by 1,000 basis points and then came down by 1,200 basis points. We find that an increase in interest rates reduces the supply of bank credit both on the extensive and intensive margins, and there is significant pass-through to retail lending rates. We document a strong bank balance sheet channel, as the lending behavior of banks with high capital and liquidity is different from that of banks with low capital and liquidity. Finally, we show the impact of monetary policy on real activity across districts depends on banking sector conditions. Overall, our results indicate significant real effects of the bank lending channel in developing countries.
This report focuses on IMF Technical Assistance Evaluation—Public Expenditure Management (PEM) Reform in Selected African Countries. Most of the countries examined were colonies of the United Kingdom, inheriting similar and relatively simple budget systems based on an interpretation of the “Westminster model” around the time of independence. Country reviews suggest that PEM problems are widespread and that there are few areas in the PEM systems of the countries covered that do not require strengthening in some way.
This paper presents an update to the Report on the Observance of Standards and Codes (ROSC) on Fiscal Transparency for Uganda. Since the 1999 ROSC, Uganda has made significant progress in enhancing transparency practices in the fiscal area. They have inter alia divested public enterprises, thereby reducing the scope for conducting off-budget quasi-fiscal operations. The authorities have compiled statistics of line ministries’ revenue, bringing this revenue under the control of the Treasury, and have extended the budgeting framework to cover district and local government budget processes.
This paper assesses the advantages and disadvantages of the French and British public expenditure management systems as used in Africa. The main differences are in budget execution and government accounting. In both francophone and anglophone Africa, there are common weaknesses in the application of the inherited systems, which appear to dominate any distinct features of the individual systems. Desirable reforms in both systems will only be successful if they are accompanied by measures that enhance the accountability of those who operate the systems, including enforcing the rules embodied in existing or reformed regulatory frameworks.