Afghanistan: IMF satisfied with government’s monetary, economic policy

KABUL (TCA) — The Afghan Ministry of Finance says the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has assessed the Afghan government’s economic and monetary policies and described them as “successful”, Afghan broadcaster TOLOnews reported.

According to the ministry, in its fourth assessment, the IMF has described monetary reforms, increase in revenue and the stability of Afghan currency successful.

Meanwhile, officials from the Central Bank of Afghanistan (CBA) have said that currently Afghanistan’s foreign exchange reserve is estimated at over $8 billion.

Increase in the national revenue, financial and monetary reforms, reforms in the budget policy, implementation of law on the Prevention of Money Laundering and the Financing of Terrorism and curbing inflation are among the key areas which have been described successful by the IMF.

On December 7, the Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund completed the Fourth Review of Afghanistan’s economic program supported by an arrangement under the Extended Credit Facility (ECF). The Board’s decision makes available to Afghanistan a disbursement amount equivalent to SDR 4.5 million (about US$6.2 million), bringing total disbursements under the arrangement to an amount equivalent to SDR 22.5 million (about US$31.2 million).

Following the Executive Board discussion, Mr. Mitsuhiro Furusawa, Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair, made a statement saying that “The Government of Afghanistan, guided by the Afghanistan National Peace and Development Framework and supported by the IMF Extended Credit Facility arrangement, remains committed to implementing policies ensuring macroeconomic stability and socially-balanced structural reforms in pursuit of self-reliance, inclusive growth, and poverty reduction.
“The insurgency, regional risks, and uncertainty during the electoral cycle compounded by a devastating drought are clouding the outlook.

“The authorities’ macroeconomic policy mix maintaining fiscal and external stability with low inflation and a flexible exchange rate is appropriate going forward in view of the many challenges facing the country.

“Fiscal policy should focus on sustainability considering risks to revenues and grants and limited financing options. Fair and sustainable domestic revenue mobilization for development needs while protecting pro-poor and pro-growth spending remains a priority. Public financial and investment management should benefit from the newly adopted supportive laws. Policy initiatives should consider good global practices in consultation with the IMF and the international partners.

“The anti-corruption agenda, including criminalizing corruption and adopting a law on asset declarations by public officials, has advanced, and needs rigorous enforcement to build confidence.

“Continued support of the donor community is critical for Afghanistan’s successful transition to self-reliance. The IMF stands ready to continue to assist Afghanistan through policy advice and capacity development.”

Sergey Kwan

TCA

Sergey Kwan has worked for The Times of Central Asia as a journalist, translator and editor since its foundation in March 1999. Prior to this, from 1996-1997, he worked as a translator at The Kyrgyzstan Chronicle, and from 1997-1999, as a translator at The Central Asian Post.
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Kwan studied at the Bishkek Polytechnic Institute from 1990-1994, before completing his training in print journalism in Denmark.

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