IMF supports effort to protect the vulnerable


29-October-2012

After announcing that price adjustments will be necessary and the programme has been extended so as to end late next year, Ms Baker said “throughout the price adjustment process it is of utmost importance to take the necessary steps to protect the most vulnerable segments of the Seychellois society”.

She noted it would be incorrect to refer to the programme as an IMF process because it is basically a local one which the IMF has been invited to support.

Ms Baker was speaking at the end of her mission’s visit which started on October 17 during which her team assessed performance at end-June for the sixth programme review under the Extended Fund Facility.

She said the mission appreciated the high quality of technical talks they were involved in and thanked the authorities “for their open and constructive dialogue”.

Finance, Trade and Investment Minister Pierre Laporte said the efforts will continue to ensure the country’s economy remains sustainable and able to absorb external shocks.

He said the country has to continue pursuing steps that will ensure continued macro-economic reforms and guarantee for example that Seychelles has adequate reserves to absorb external shocks in the face of foreign exchange speculation or increases in food and fuel prices.

He said the IMF will continue helping Seychelles through technical support and maintaining analysis by monitoring our economic trends and confirming on a regular basis that everything is running well.

Mr Laporte noted that this time, for example the IMF will disburse US $10 million in two payments next year, which Ms Baker said will go directly into the country’s reserves.

She said the government has made sustained progress in implementing the reform programme and that all quantitative targets under the programme were met, some by a wide margin.

The broader structural agenda is also moving ahead with the implementation of the electronic clearing house and completion of a study on utility tariff reform.

“The mission welcomes adoption of the value-added tax and notes the delayed implementation to January does not materially affect the reform agenda,” Ms Baker said.

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