- IMF team expected in today—Gondwe
Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe says government is optimistic that the drastic reduction in borrowing will convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF) team visiting the country to review the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) that Malawi is on track with economic reforms.
Gondwe yesterday told Business News that the team was expected in the country today.
He said for the last six months (July to December) government has shown commitment to slow down on borrowing, as reflected in the Mid-Year Budget Review Statement.
The minister said when the IMF team visited the country in December last year, one of the contentious issues was government’s borrowing above recommended thresholds.
According to Gondwe in the last six months government has borrowed only K4 billion on the local market against a threshold of K58 billion.
“Last time the IMF said we were off-track because we had over borrowed more than the set target. In fact we had over borrowed by K78 billion, but now we have only borrowed K4 billion domestically.
“As government we are ready for the IMF team and we are hoping for the best,” he said on the sidelines of the 9th Steering Committee Meeting of the Global Partnership for Effective Development Cooperation (GPEDC) which was held in Lilongwe.
Gondwe hinted that some of the activities that his ministry has carried out in readiness for the IMF visit include reconciling of money in government books and banks, pay roll audit which is now through as well as tackling of the Public Finance Management.
On his part, Treasury spokesperson Nations Msowoya was also optimistic that the IMF will be convinced that Malawi ‘has done a good job’.
“By not over borrowing we are optimistic that in the medium to long term all our set goals will be achieved,” said Msowoya.
The IMF team is expected to be in the country for two weeks.