Following the Executive Board meeting, Mr. Tao Zhang, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, lauded Mali’s recent economic performance.
“Mali has made important progress in implementing the Fund-supported program despite daunting security challenges. Economic growth has remained solid and the authorities have steadfastly implemented their revenue mobilization program and structural reforms are underway. Continued commitment to sound policies and reforms will be critical to achieving the program’s objectives,” Zhang. said.
He added: “Mali’s immediate priority is to safeguard social and developmental spending in the face of pressures from security outlays. The fiscal framework for 2020 strikes an appropriate balance between spending needs and available resources, through the relaxation of the overall deficit target. Fiscal space for priority spending is also being created through ambitious but realistic revenue targets.
“Reforms to strengthen revenue mobilization remain critical to support growth-enhancing spending going forward. Efforts in the near term will focus on reducing opportunities for tax fraud, strengthening capacity of tax and customs administration, and improved compliance in medium and large taxpayer segments. These reforms are an integral part of plans to strengthen fiscal governance.
“Stronger public financial management will be critical going forward. The main priorities in the near term include putting the state electricity company on a sound financial footing to reduce fiscal pressures and secure an adequate supply of electricity, improving cash management to prevent reoccurrence of arrears and strengthening debt management. The upcoming review by the World Bank to secure transparent and efficient security spending will also be critical.
“The authorities’ commitment to improve governance and fight corruption is commendable. Strong implementation will be needed to achieve governance reform objectives in the fiscal, anti-money laundering and the overall anti-corruption framework areas. The forthcoming governance assessment is welcome and will inform future reform priorities.”