Minister of Finance and Development Planning Ken Lipenga says the country has taken advantage of the visiting team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stress about the government’s policy position and intentions.

“By the time they leave they will have a clear picture of our policy intentions and they have already shown an understanding of that,” Lipenga said in a recent interview.

Lipenga said it should not be misconstrued that the government doesn’t want to take advice from the development partners but that it should be respected with locally developed economic policies.

The visiting team, coming pursuant to Article IV of the IMF’s Articles of Agreements, will review recent economic developments and look at a broader view of the economy by consulting widely with different stakeholders from the public and private sectors.

However, Lipenga said although the team came for the Article IV, this will make the IMF understand the country’s economic endeavours and programmes.

“They will look back and analyse the economy as a whole,” Lipenga said.

He added that the ECF negotiations will start afresh with a better understanding of each other between the Malawi government and the IMF.

He said this will give an opportunity for the Extended Credit Facility (ECF) negotiations for the IMF to will have a better understanding of the country’s economic policy intentions and programmes on the ground.

“This visit is different from the ECF team visits because in the ECF they strictly look at ECF issues therefore leaving out other important economic issues but now they will have better understanding of our efforts and policies and that will be material in our efforts to have the ECF programme resuscitated,” Lipenga said.

The ECF has cost the country about US$121 million in budgetary support as development partners anchor their commitments to the programme since last year.

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