IMF urges Zim to clear arrears

THE International Monetary Fund (IMF) has urged Zimbabwe to clear arrears to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and other international financial institutions (IFIs).

BY VICTORIA MTOMBA

The IMF board of directors met on Monday where they welcomed Zimbabwe’s comprehensive strategy for normalisation of relations with IFIs.

“In this context, they urged the authorities to clear all arrears to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust and other IFIs. Once arrears to the PRGT are cleared, directors look forward to the next stage whereby remedial measures against Zimbabwe can be removed, including the reinstatement of Zimbabwe to the list of PRGT-eligible countries,” said the IMF in a statement after the board meeting which looked at the steps that the country has made to improve its economic conditions.

The IMF directors said Zimbabwe continued to be in debt distress, and called on the authorities to pursue a strong debt management strategy, including limiting non-concessional borrowing to critical growth-enhancing and poverty-reducing projects that would ultimately improve the country’s repayment capacity.

The IMF said there was need to step up structural reforms to raise potential growth and living standards, and to secure support from Zimbabwe’s development partners.

“They highlighted the need to implement the indigenisation policy in a business-friendly and transparent manner, and to resolve outstanding land issues swiftly.

“Other priorities include improving the investment climate, tackling corruption, and promoting economic diversification. Directors agreed that a step-up to a comprehensive and deep economic policy adjustment agenda will be critical to address Zimbabwe’s daunting economic challenges,” the IMF said.

Zimbabwe is working on a strategy paper on arrears clearance after it sought creditors’ approval to clear the $1,8 billion arrears to the preferred creditors that include African Development Bank, IMF and World Bank. The country’s debt to internal and external creditors stands at
$10 billion.

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