The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved a new, 30-month non-financial advisory program for Serbia.
Tanjug is reporting that this was announced by the National Bank of Serbia (NBS).
Backed by the Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI), the new program of cooperation will build on the precautionary standby arrangement successfully completed by Serbia in February this year, the NBS is quoted as saying.
The Ministry of Finance also announced that the Board of Executive Directors of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirmed a new arrangement with the Republic of Serbia at the yesterday’s session in Washington, which will last 30 months, until January 2021.
The new cooperation program with the support of the Policy Coordination Instrument (PCI) is exclusively advisory and does not foresee the use of financial resources, the Serbian government said on its website, citing the ministry.
Finance Minister Sinisa Mali estimated that the new arrangement with the IMF is very important because it shows that the Republic of Serbia in the previous period achieved good economic results and that it no longer needs financial assistance.
This is yet another step on our path to structural reforms and a good signal for investors. It is important to maintain macroeconomic and financial stability, to improve our economy, to increase competitiveness and to ensure high growth rates, because it only means new jobs and a better standard of living for our citizens, Mali pointed out.
He emphasized that the main objectives of the program are to maintain public debt in defined terms in relation to gross domestic product (GDP), maintaining the overall deficit in defined frames in relation to GDP, reforming the public sector salary system, continuing the Tax Administration reform and establishing measures for reduction of the processing time of VAT refunds, adoption of a new law on fees and maintenance of inflation in the defined frameworks.
“We are fully committed to these goals and this will be our absolute priority in the coming period. It is important that we strengthen our institutions and make them even more efficient, and here I mean first and foremost to the modernization of the Tax Administration, which is necessary,” Mali concluded.
At the session in Washington, it was pointed out that the economic prospects of the Republic of Serbia remain stable.
PCI is a new instrument introduced by the IMF in 2017 in order to provide support to member states that are committed to reforms, but who do not need financial support from that international financial institution, a statement said.