(Ecofin Agency) - In the face of the current security challenges, marked by recurrent terrorist attacks, Mali’s economic activity remained resilient and growth is expected at 5% this year. The good news was announced yesterday by Boriana Yontcheva (pictured, left), who led an 11-day International Monetary Fund -IMF- mission to the country from Nov 19 to 29.
The mission was conducted as part of the first review of an economic and financial program supported by the IMF under the ECF. According to the Fund, thanks to a recovery in tax collection, the budget deficit is expected to remain below 3% this year, while inflation has remained under control. “The general level of prices entered a deflationary trend in 2019, owing to good harvests following the abundant rainfall,” the IMF’s head of mission explained.
Welcoming the significant improvement in tax collection, Boriana Yontcheva said: “the authorities are committed to continuing their domestic revenue mobilization efforts to create the fiscal space needed to accommodate social, development and security spending while preserving macroeconomic stability and public debt sustainability.” But she also urged them to “redouble efforts in repaying domestic spending arrears in a timely fashion and further improving the business climate to foster private sector development and job creation.”
IMF suggests that the Malian authorities should speed up reforms to digitalize tax payment procedures, streamline tax exemptions, including those granted to the mining sector, and improve petroleum products and property taxation.