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IMF delegation to visit Zimbabwe

by Staff reporter
13 Jan 2014 at 14:33hrs | Views
A delegation from the International Monetary Fund is expected to visit the country in March to assess progress following the six months extension of Zimbabwe's staff Monitored Programme recently.

The staff-monitored programme is supposed to help monitor the country's economic data, transparency in diamonds earnings and whether the country is able to meet its macro-economic targets such as inflation. The visiting team is expected to set targets for a third review.

"Under the extension, an IMF staff team will visit Harare in March 2014 to assess performance, combining the first and second reviews under the SMP. During the March 2014 visit, the targets for a third review with an assessment date end-June 2014 will be set," said the IMF.

Zimbabwe, which agreed to the Staff-Monitored Programme in June last year is saddled with a $6 billion external debt which has been standing in the way of accessing much needed fresh funding.

The extension of the programme will give the Government a chance to regroup and come up with ways to address the debt before the IMF's next visit.

Government hosted another IMF team between November 6 and 20 last year to review progress on the implementation of the SMP as well as discuss macroeconomic projections in preparation for the 2014 National Budget presented last month.

The development also comes nearly two months after a visiting team from the Bretton Woods institution raised concerns over the country's huge civil service wage bill. Official figures show that the public sector wage bill accounts for 75 percent of total revenue, crowding out capital projects.

The successful implementation of the SMP is a pre-condition for negotiating the clearance of arrears and debt relief.

It will also reduce the country's credit risk rating and in the process attract foreign direct investment.

Source - bh24

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