The Tunisian government expects the second tranche of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan will be disbursed in April, Ridha Saïdi, an adviser to the Prime Minister in charge of monitoring of public projects and programs said in an exclusive interview given to African Manager on Thursday, March 23.
He added that an IMF delegation is expected in Tunis these days to discuss the process of implementing the reforms.
Saïdi has, in this context, denied the statements of economist Ezzeddine Saïdane that the IMF delegation decided to cancel its visit to Tunisia, following the delay in implementing the reforms that have been scheduled since January 2016.
He recalled that Tunisia secured last May a loan of $ 2.88 billion, of which it received a first tranche of $ 319 million.
Saidi pointed out that efforts are continuing not only to receive the second and third tranches of the IMF loan, estimated between $ 650 million and $ 700 million, but also the granting of two additional loans to Tunisia by the World Bank ($ 500 million) and the European Union ($ 400 million).
He added that the government has decided to accelerate the pace of the reforms that have been initiated with the aim of maintaining the country’s economic balance.
With regard to public sector reforms, he said that a Cabinet meeting would be held soon. It will review the development of the restructuring program for state and private banks.
Saidi further indicated that the restructuring of public banks is one of the main points of the agreement between the Tunisian government and the IMF under the financing program.
The other points deal mainly with the public service and tax reform…
Moreover, the adviser to the Prime Minister said it was decided to adopt the draft law on the state budget and strengthen the anti-corruption strategy to ensure good governance.
On another front, he said the government is finalizing the development of a comprehensive plan for medium-term debt that will be ready in the days to come.
He added that a government team is working harder to prepare a data bank for needy Tunisian families.
The IMF has repeatedly reiterated its commitment to support Tunisia’s efforts to boost economic growth and increase job opportunities.
The Tunisian government and the delegation of experts of the IMF, which last February visited Tunisia to assess economic development and discuss the policies of the authorities, agreed on urgent measures to ensure public finance balances, increase public investment and accelerate the pace of structural reforms that have lagged behind.