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Uganda is still not ready for IMF’s PCI!

“The Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI) is a non-financing tool open to all members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF). It enables them to signal commitment to reforms and catalyze financing from other sources. The establishment of the PCI is part of the Fund’s broader effort to strengthen the global financial safety net—a network of insurance and loan instruments that countries can draw on if confronted with a crisis.” (International Monetary Funds – ‘IMF Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI) 26.07.2017).

This here is really spelling out the missing dots in the budget and monetary policy wise, as the IMF has concluded a visit, but told that certain aspects are missing. Even explaining that the Republic have to be careful about borrowing money. As the Republic tend to do these days for all sorts of projects and building infrastructure all around the country. However, the IMF isn’t praising Uganda, the IMF is telling what it needs, if they want to be part of the PCI. That is important, because being part of that, then the state will have systems and ways to gain outside sources of funding and also safety mechanisms in the needs of rainy days. Therefore, following this program would be healthy for the economy, but will the National Resistance Movement and President Museveni comply to this? Would they?

“The authorities have made progress in setting economic policy objectives for FY18/19 and the medium-term. Fiscal policy seeks to keep public debt at a sustainable level which requires raising tax collection and prioritizing spending needs, while protecting key infrastructure projects and social expenditures. Monetary policy targets core inflation of 5 percent. Bank of Uganda aims to maintain international reserves at 4 to 4½ months of imports. Structural reforms would focus on revenue mobilization, public financial and investment management, reducing domestic arrears, enhancing financial sector stability and development, and putting in place the remaining elements of the framework for managing future oil revenues. The mission reached agreement on many key elements of a possible 3-year program under the Policy Coordination Instrument, but further progress in some areas is still needed. Once the FY18/19 budget has been approved as agreed, the mission could resume discussions” (International Monetary Funds – ‘International Monetary Fund (IMF) Staff Concludes Visit to Uganda’ 31.05.2018).

It isn’t the first time the IMF and World Bank says there policies and monetary programs needs changes, needs to be amended and fixed, so it is safer. This is something that always comes back. The NRM are clearly not listening or interested in listening. They are pre-occupied with the handshakes of the State House and the insider trading that they like to do. Not have accountability and transparency, because then all the tools of the shed is in the open. President Museveni doesn’t want his ghosts, his fake projects and his forged paperwork to be in the open. That would hurt his pride and also humiliate him. That is the reality of it all.

Therefore, the state has a long walk ahead still, even with the new revenue sources, as they are not considering the implications yet on the public. Just more revenue for revenues sake, but not how hard the new taxes really will have. They will hurt the public and the poorest the most. Nevertheless, they are not a concern for the state; they are more bargain chips for needed donor funds anyway.

President Museveni will not be interested in opening the books and showing the reality. We know that, therefore the PCI will not introduced shortly, neither will the accountability or transparency change either. It is not in his interest to revolutionize that. Then he would humiliate himself, which he only does to Opposition leaders, not to himself. Peace.

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IMF statement on Uganda’s current Economic framework has a “grey” list, but a steady core inflation!

The International Monetary funds have concluded yet another visit to Uganda. As todays statement and insights to the economy is dim. There is not much prospects or much goodness to take out of it. Unless, you are thinking to invest while the inflations are rising and hoping it does not stop. Even though the needless to say, it has been like this before after General Elections in Uganda. That the economy has suffered a blow and a shock, which has hurt the economy and food prices. Therefore, sparked demonstrations and uprisings, like that last big one in Walk to Work and Activist for Change in 2011. It is clearly on the same path, but just in 2017 instead. President Yoweri Museveni likes to repeat himself!

“Inflation has edged up, mainly reflecting the effects of the drought. Food price inflation rose from 5 percent year-on-year in September 2016 to 22 percent in April 2017. With this, headline inflation recorded 6.8 in April 2017. Core inflation stood at 4.9 percent, in line with the Bank of Uganda’s (BoU’s) 5 percent target” (IMF, 2017). These numbers are showing the decline and increase of common commodities, even if the Core Inflation is around the estimated level; the food prices are showing the problems in the economy in general.

“The authorities have made some progress on structural reforms. Two structural benchmarks have been met on time, three with delay, and the remaining five are pending. Most notably, the authorities moved forward the legislative agenda that will support Uganda’s exit from the Financial Action Task Force “grey” list—the laws now await President Museveni’s assent. The Ministry of Finance, Planning, and Economic Development published reconciled reports on the stock of outstanding arrears at end-June 2016 (3.2 percent of GDP). Pending reforms include sending the BoU Act Amendments to Parliament, publishing the report on end-December unpaid bills, and sending to cabinet a policy for regulating mobile money” (IMF, 2017). The GoU and President Museveni have not complied totally and made laws objectively transparent. Therefore, there are laws awaiting the approval and be requested to Parliament, as the state reserves and budgets are still enforced with the will of the President. In addition, a proof of the maladministration is the amount of budget arrears that was in last budget year, which will hit the economy, as the bills have to be paid this year.

“Uganda’s external position is broadly consistent with fundamentals and desirable policies in 2016. The current account deficit is projected to temporarily increase over the next 5 years as infrastructure and oil sector investment ramp up further. Achieving the envisaged growth dividend of these investments is essential to maintaining external stability—just as for public debt sustainability. International reserves at end-December 2016 stood at US$3 billion (5¼ months of next year’s imports), above the adequacy level suggested by the IMF’s metric for credit-constrained economies. Going forward, the BoU can purchase reserves opportunistically and would meet the EAC convergence criterion of 4½ months of imports. The flexible exchange rate regime is serving Uganda well” (IMF, 2017). Therefore, the government and IMF envisions that the future prospects of oil monies will be sustainable for the current loans into infrastructure projects. It even envision it and with that will ensure external stability and trust into the economic climate of Uganda, that shows that the trust in future gains is the ones; that makes people have faith in the Ugandan economy.

This is all here proof in stated language that the IMF are looking through the budgets and their laws. Nevertheless, is not addressing the trillions shillings suddenly disappearing, neither the Presidential Handshake, as these are just figment of imagination for the foreign economic advisors. They just do not see it or does not want to see it. Peace.

Reference:

IMF – ‘Uganda: Staff Concluding Statement of the 2017 Article IV Consultation Mission and Discussions for the 8th Review under the Policy Support Instrument’ (16.05.2017) link: http://www.imf-fmi.africa-newsroom.com/press/uganda-staff-concluding-statement-of-the-2017-article-iv-consultation-mission-and-discussions-for-the-8th-review-under-the-policy-support-instrument?lang=en

IMF Executive Board Completes the Seventh Review Under the Policy Support Instrument for Uganda (11.01.2017)

UGX Pic

Uganda’s economy has performed reasonably well in a complex environment.

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, January 11, 2017 – On January 5, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) completed the seventh review of Uganda’s economic program under the Policy Support Instrument (PSI).1 The Board’s decision was taken on a lapse of time basis.2 In completing the review, the Board granted a waiver of the nonobservance of the end-June 2016 assessment criterion on the overall deficit of the central government.

The PSI for Uganda was approved by the Board on June 28, 2013 (see Press Release No. 13/78), and a one-year extension was approved on June 6, 2016 (see Press Release No. 16/263).

Uganda’s economy has performed reasonably well in a complex environment. Growth slowed marginally to 4.8 percent in FY15/16, reflecting muted sentiment in an election year and adverse global and regional developments. The current account deficit improved by 1 percentage point to 5.9 percent of GDP, and the Shilling has stabilized after a sharp depreciation in 2015. Growth is projected to nudge up to 5 percent in FY16/17.

Program performance under the PSI has been mixed. Tight monetary policy in 2015 has helped contain inflation in the target range, and the Bank of Uganda (BoU) has started an easing cycle in April 2016. Reserve cover remains adequate. Fiscal revenue and deficit targets were missed, reflecting lower-than-expected growth and election effects. Investment spending fell short, while current expenditure overshot. Structural reforms have progressed, albeit with some delays.

The banking sector remains overall well capitalized, despite elevated non-performing loans. The BoU appropriately took over an undercapitalized bank and is identifying a strategic investor.

Uganda remains at a low risk of debt distress. The scaling-up of infrastructure investment implies a temporary increase in debt, putting a premium on domestic revenue mobilization and ensuring that public investment yields the intended growth dividend.

Looking ahead, priorities include close cooperation with the Financial Action Task Force to ensure Uganda’s swift exit from its “gray” list; strengthening domestic arrears monitoring; and amending the Bank of Uganda Act to reinforce central bank independence.

1 The PSI is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries that do not need balance of payments financial support. The PSI helps countries design effective economic programs that, once approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, signal to donors, multilateral development banks, and markets the Fund’s endorsement of a member’s policies (see imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/psi.htm). Details on Uganda’s current PSI are available at imf.org/uganda.

2 The Executive Board takes decisions without a meeting when it is agreed by the Board that a proposal can be considered without convening formal discussions.

Press Statement: IMF Executive Board Completes Sixth PSI Review for Uganda and Approves One-Year Extension of the Program (07.06.2016)

Bank notes Uganda

WASHINGTON D.C., United States of America, June 7, 2016 –  The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund today completed the sixth review of Uganda’s economic performance under the program supported by the Policy Support Instrument (PSI).1.

In completing the review, the Board approved the authorities’ request for a one-year extension of the current PSI arrangement to facilitate policy continuity and allow sufficient time for ongoing structural reforms to progress and also granted a waiver of the nonobservance of the end-December 2015 assessment criteria on the overall deficit of the central government.

The PSI for Uganda was approved by the Executive Board on June 28, 2013 (see Press Release No. 13/78). Uganda’s program under the PSI aims at maintaining macroeconomic stability and alleviating constraints to growth. The program supports the authorities’ objectives on reforms to the monetary policy framework, tax revenue mobilization, public financial management, and financial sector development. It also backs efforts to improve the business environment, including by preparing the economy better for oil production.

Following the Board discussion, Mr. Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:

“Despite external shocks, and amid election-related uncertainty, Uganda’s economy demonstrated resilience, with robust growth, low inflation, and strong international reserves. However, structural reforms have lagged and need to be revitalized to enhance competitiveness, promote economic diversification, and foster sustained and inclusive economic growth.

“Economic policies will remain focused on keeping inflation low and boosting growth. Fiscal priorities include shifting public spending toward infrastructure and poverty-alleviating expenditures, boosting domestic revenue mobilization, and enhancing public investment efficiency. Continued fiscal prudence could facilitate further monetary policy easing, which would help ease tight credit conditions.

“More progress is needed on key structural reforms. Prompt parliamentary approval of the Public Financial Management Act regulations in line with international best practice, decisive action to reconcile and validate the stock of domestic arrears, and finalizing the charter of fiscal responsibility are paramount steps to further improve governance and strengthen the budget process. Final approval of legal amendments to the Bank of Uganda Act will strengthen the central bank’s independence and support the inflation targeting regime.

“Vigilance is needed to ensure continued financial stability. Plans to further strengthen prudential supervision in line with the Basel III guidelines are welcome. Ensuring that regulatory oversight keeps pace with financial innovation will help preserve financial stability. Prioritizing prompt parliamentary approval of the Amendments of the Anti-Money Laundering Amendment Act and the Insurance Act should help Uganda exit from the FATF gray list, further strengthening the investment climate.”

1 The PSI is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries that do not need balance of payments financial support. The PSI helps countries design effective economic programs that, once approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, signal to donors, multilateral development banks, and markets the Fund’s endorsement of a member’s policies (seehttp://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/psi.htm). Details on Uganda’s current PSI are available at imf.org/uganda.

Press Release No. 15/02: IMF Executive Board Completes First PSI Review for Tanzania

January 7, 2015

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund completed today the first review of Tanzania’s economic performance under the program supported by the Policy Support Instrument (PSI)1 and granted a waiver for the non-observance of the continuous assessment criterion on the non-accumulation of external arrears.

The PSI for Tanzania was approved by the Executive Board on July 16, 2014 (see Press Release No. 14/350). Tanzania’s program under the PSI supports the authorities’ medium-term objectives. These include: the maintenance of macroeconomic stability, the preservation of debt sustainability, and the promotion of more equitable growth and job creation.

Following the Board discussion, Mr. Min Zhu, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made the following statement:

“Macroeconomic developments in Tanzania remain favorable. Economic growth was strong during the first half of 2014 and is expected to remain close to 7 percent. Inflation remains in mid-single digits, consistent with the authorities’ target of 5 percent by June 2015.“

Performance under the Policy Support Instrument was satisfactory through June, but has deteriorated since and risks have risen, stemming from delays in disbursements of donor assistance and external nonconcessional borrowing, and shortfalls in domestic revenues. Against this backdrop, the authorities’ commitment to keep the program on track is welcome, and they have reaffirmed their intention to meet the budget deficit target and will review revenues and adjust expenditures accordingly in the context of the mid-year budget review. It will be critical to the business environment to address the governance issues raised by the IPTL case, which would also unlock donor assistance.

“It will be important to strengthen the coordination between fiscal and monetary policies. The conversion of monetary policy instruments to financing papers facilitated the front-loading of capital expenditures but complicated monetary policy implementation. It will be more effective and less disruptive to accommodate the planned expenditure through better planning to align spending and financing.“

“The issue of domestic arrears, which continued to accumulate, needs to be addressed comprehensively and forcefully. Work to verify and eventually clear arrears to suppliers already incurred is ongoing. The authorities’ plan to prevent future arrears accumulation is appropriately ambitious and will require sustained implementation. Addressing arrears to pension funds and making government relations with them more transparent is also critical to their sustainability.”


1 The PSI is an instrument of the IMF designed for countries that do not need balance of payments financial support. The PSI helps countries design effective economic programs that, once approved by the IMF’s Executive Board, signal to donors, multilateral development banks, and markets the Fund’s endorsement of a member’s policies (seehttp://www.imf.org/external/np/exr/facts/psi.htm). Details on Tanzania’s PSI program are available at www.imf.org/tanzania.

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