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Tunisia Prepares Economic Reform Program to Discuss with IMF

Tunisia Prepares Economic Reform Program to Discuss with IMF

Wednesday, 5 January, 2022 - 11:30
The Tunisian government revealed an economic reform program that it intends to implement in the coming years (AFP)

The Tunisian government announced its economic reforms program for the coming years. The program will be presented to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to obtain funds for the state budget to restore the balance of public finances and raise growth levels.

In its negotiations with the IMF, the Tunisian government relies on reforms that it intends to implement to get out of the stifling economic and financial crisis.

The government plans to freeze the public-sector wage increases and assignments between 2022 and 2024.

It will also review the state's policy at the level of its contribution to the capital of non-strategic institutions, in addition to allocating some of them starting from this year and moving towards the gradual lifting of subsidies assigned to fuel to reach their actual price by the end of 2026.

Meanwhile, the "I Watch" organization revealed some Arab states vowed to finance the Tunisian budget deficit, with a value of no less than TD2.9 billion within the framework of bilateral financial cooperation.

Tunisia received a $300-million loan from neighboring Algeria.

The Tunisian Central Bank urged the government to speed up negotiations with the IMF and agree on a new economic program to send positive signals to foreign and local investors and improve sovereign rating.

The Central Bank announced the recovery of remittances, which rose by 34.9 percent, in addition to an improvement in the tourism sector's revenues by 6.6 percent at the end of last year.

According to several financial experts, the Ministry of Finance predicted a growth rate of no less than 4 percent during the past year and then dropped it to 2.5 percent, which is difficult to achieve.

Tunisia's budget deficit increased from 1 percent in 2010 to 9.6 percent in 2020 due to the financial crisis.

The deficit is expected to reach 8.3 percent during 2021, a figure exceeding the 3 percent threshold, which requires structural economic reforms rejected by many social and economic parties, especially union leaders.

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