IMF declares Malawi on-track for Extended Credit Facility

International Monetary Fund (IMF) says Malawi is on-track to revive the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme with the fund which has been attributed to good management of domestic finance since September 2015.

Gondwe: Malawi on track for IMF programme

Gondwe: Malawi on track for IMF programme

Malawi President Peter Mutharika met with the Head of IMF, Oral Williams and his colleague at Kamuzu Palace

Malawi President Peter Mutharika met with the Head of IMF, Oral Williams and his colleague at Kamuzu Palace

ECF, approved in July 2012, is IMF’s main tool for medium-term financial support to low income member countries such as Malawi.

IMF Chief of Mission to Malawi Oral Williams says IMF appreciates the hard work that government put in to bring programme back on track.

Williams was speaking to the media after meeting government officials led by Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe in Lilongwe on Wednesday.

“Regarding program performance, the authorities have demonstrated a concerted effort to put the program back on track. Program targets on net domestic financing and net domestic assets of the Reserve Bank of Malawi for end December 2015 were met,” said IMF.

However,  IMF noted that the buildup in net international reserves fell short of the end-December program floor owing to lower-than expected export revenues and some smoothing of the excessive volatility in the foreign exchange market.

“ On the structural side, reforms in the financial sector were carried out as planned. Improvements in public financial management (PFM), in particular bank reconciliations, are gaining momentum but this needs to be sustained,” said IMF.

In November last year the IMF noted that Malawi was in a “tight situation” to revive the off track ECF programme but pointed out that it was encouraged with measures government was implementing, including cutting the 2015/16 National Budget as recommended by the fund’s mission that certified ECF off track.

The latest IMF brief assessment on Malawi came on the back of another end-June 2015 review undertaken by the fund’s mission in September which prompted IMF to declare the ECF off track due to government’s failure to meet some key agreed programme targets mostly on net domestic financing and on the Public Finance Management Reforms.

Malawi’s headline inflation rate is one of the highest rates the country has registered in recent years as average prices for most goods and services are soaring unabated.

“ Rising food prices and a sharp depreciation of the kwacha contributed to annual inflation increasing to about 25 percent at end-December 2015. Inflation has since fallen slightly to 23.4 percent in February 2016 and non-food inflation has been on a clear declining trend, suggesting that the appropriate adjustments in monetary and fiscal policies are having their intended effects,” IMF noted.

IMF also said commitment to the flexible exchange rate regime and the automatic fuel pricing mechanism have helped Malawi to respond to external shocks.

“ The kwacha which depreciated by more than 35.6 percent from July 2015 to early March 2016—a trend mirroring that of neighboring countries—has begun to stabilize. This in part reflects efforts by the central bank to absorb excess liquidity from the banking system, greater fiscal discipline, and the advent of the tobacco season.”

The global lender said  it reached understandings to ensure that recent improvements in macroeconomic policy implementation in Malawi  are sustained.

“Restoring macroeconomic stability by bringing inflation—which has been stuck above 20 percent since mid-2012—down to single digits, remains the most important policy challenge in the near term. The revised fiscal framework recently approved by parliament is sufficient to meet the end-June 2016 program target on net domestic financing.

“Prudent fiscal policy, when combined with a tight monetary stance to maintain positive real interest rates, should place inflation on a downward path.”

IMF mission said it welcomed Malawi government’s efforts to strengthen commitment controls over spending, by requiring Ministries, Departments, and Agencies to provide detailed fiscal reports before receiving additional allocations.

The fund appealed to Malawi government to “exercise restraint “on the wage bill which now accounts for about 34 percent of revenues.

It also underscored the need to mobilize domestic revenues in line with Malawi’s sustainable development goals by broadening the tax base and strengthening tax compliance.

“Based on progress to date, it is anticipated that a request to complete the seventh and eighth reviews under the ECF-supported program could be submitted for consideration by the IMF’s Executive Board in May 2016.”

IMF mission met with President Arthur Peter Mutharika, Minister of Finance Goodall Gondwe, Governor of the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) Charles Chuka, other senior government and RBM officials, a broad range of national stakeholders outside government, as well as representatives of Malawi’s development partners.

Meanwhile, IMF has promised to assist the government in formulating the 2016/17 budget so that domestic borrowing remains in check. –Additional reporting by Thom Chiumia, Nyasa Times

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roy hauya
Guest
roy hauya
6 months 4 days ago

there is nothing exciting about IMF linking up with malawi on credit facilties; its credit, get that first, so its about enslaving malawians

second i would never ever be excited about loans which bind posterity while at the same time there is NO guarantee of good use of the resources.

i would rather prepare my people for pain, hard work and freedom from global manipualtion than go on to commit the spociety while only the elite benefit. this is as immoral as it is criminal

Vyantonda
Guest
6 months 5 days ago

akuteta come out on 577 fullstop

Nelson Chipungu
Guest
Nelson Chipungu
6 months 5 days ago
Well done Mbendera!!!! You say it like it should be said. There is no point in IMF or any donor wasting money on people who does not work. It is not against the poor to plead that lazy and corrupt politicians civil servants and judges by punished. It is in the interest of the poor and the whole of Malawi that donors and IMF get’s value for its buck because that value would trickle down to the very poor who is so much in need of it. The elite can all wear fancy and very expensive suits and talk all… Read more »
Joseph Phiri
Guest
Joseph Phiri
6 months 5 days ago
Well done Mbendera!!!! You say it like it should be said. There is no point in IMF or any donor wasting money on people who does not work. It is not against the poor to plead that lazy and corrupt politicians civil servants and judges by punished. It is in the interest of the poor and the whole of Malawi that donors and IMF get’s value for its buck because that value would trickle down to the very poor who is so much in need of it. The elite can all wear fancy and very expensive suits and talk all… Read more »
dadi
Guest
dadi
6 months 5 days ago

bravo!!!!!

NGONGOLE SIZINTHU
Guest
NGONGOLE SIZINTHU
6 months 5 days ago

Ngongole zonyadira kodi? aaah aah munakhala bwanji amalawi

Mugonapamhanya
Guest
Mugonapamhanya
6 months 5 days ago

Peter may not be the best president but the only reason he will win in 2019 is because there is no alternative. No alternative at all.

Mtumbuka kupusa
Guest
6 months 5 days ago

Read “10 Selfies Gone Horribly Wrong”. Koma ndiye wakhanyulatu mwanankazi. Kwayasamiraatu. Henga valley woyeeeee!

paul
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paul
6 months 5 days ago

We have got the loan but why are prices of goods still high we need salary increases for civil servants the kwacha was trading at 450 and now it is at 700, that is 55% depreciation while salaries are intact, government should consider increase salaries or appreciate the kwacha back to 450 if they wantto give us same salaries, we cannot make ends mett

David wa Mbendera
Guest
6 months 5 days ago

Iwe David Mbendera, you belong to the party of death and darkness. You are an idiot and also a criminal. I challenge you APM is the next president in 2019. Take my word!

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