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MalawiLetter of Intent, Memorandum of Economic Policies, and Technical Memorandum of Understanding

July 19, 2002

The following item is a Letter of Intent of the government of Malawi, which describes the policies that Malawi intends to implement in the context of its request for financial support from the IMF. The document, which is the property of Malawi, is being made available on the IMF website by agreement with the member as a service to users of the IMF website.
 

Mr. Horst Köhler
Managing Director
International Monetary Fund
Washington, D.C. 20431


Dear Mr. Köhler,

On December 21, 2000 the Executive Board approved a three-year Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement aimed at bringing down inflation, accelerating growth and reducing poverty. In the attached memorandum on economic policies, we report on progress in implementing our program supported by the PRGF arrangement and describe the economic and financial policies for 2002.

As the implementation of the program has been unsatisfactory, the government of Malawi is intent on establishing a strong track record correcting the fiscal stance, adhering to the monetary program, and implementing the delayed structural reforms as prior actions as outlined in the attached memorandum on economic policies. This will enable the government to reach the objectives set forth in the Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (MPRSP) and the December 8, 2000 memorandum on economic policies.

Sincerely yours,

/s/

Dr. Ellias E. Ngalande
Governor
Reserve Bank of Malawi

/s/

Mr. Friday A. Jumbe
Minister of Finance and
Economic Planning


Memorandum on the Economic Policies of the Government of Malawi

July 19, 2002

I. Background and Program Implementation

1. The implementation of our economic reform program was not satisfactory and the macroeconomic situation remains tenuous as private sector activity is being strained by expansionary fiscal policies. While monetary policy has been tight, and the core inflation has declined to less than 10 percent, real interest rates remain very high, reflecting the expansionary fiscal stance combined with persistent inflation expectations. The fiscal program has been derailed by several major bailouts of parastatals, overspending on the wage bill and travel, and revenue shortfalls from tax cuts, a decline in firms' profitability, and depressed demand for dutiable imports. Growth is likely to have been negative last year and is forecast to stay below 2 percent in 2002. Moreover, Malawi is now faced with a serious food situation, and large shortages are expected later in 2002.

2. The Malawi Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper (MPRSP), launched on April 24, 2002, identifies as the main challenge for poverty reduction a move to a higher growth path through private sector development. The MPRSP is built around four strategic pillars. The first consists of strategies that will enhance rapid, sustainable, pro-poor economic growth and structural transformation. The second focuses on human capital development. The third pillar involves strategies to improve the quality of life of the most vulnerable. And the fourth pillar covers issues of good governance. Key obstacles to private sector development, particularly in the crucial agricultural sector, are the following: the lack of macroeconomic stability, the still considerable involvement of government in the economy, especially through the parastatal sector, and weaknesses in governance. The economic and structural policies described in this letter emanate from the MPRSP (as indicated by chapter references to the MPRSP) and address these obstacles.

3. The prolonged period of fiscal borrowing and its effect on interest rates have started to create unsustainable debt dynamics, is crowding out the private sector, and has weakened growth. To turn around this situation and move Malawi toward a higher growth trajectory, we are committed to implementing the following three-pronged strategy (Chapter 5.2.2.1). First, we have been containing expenditure since March 2002 and will implement a 2002/03 (July - June) budget that envisages an ambitious fiscal adjustment to reverse the fiscal expansion of the last two years. At the same time, the 2002/03 budget makes further room for spending that benefits the poor. Second, a strengthened expenditure management system will enable us to closely monitor the implementation of fiscal policies. Third, we will accelerate parastatal reform to avoid future recourse to bailouts from the budget. This strategy will help make the domestic debt situation more manageable and create the room needed for private sector development.

4. Consistent with attaining the objective of macroeconomic stability, we target a further reduction in end-period inflation to 5 percent in 2002. To this end, the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) will continue to keep a tight monetary stance. In tandem with the fiscal adjustment, this monetary stance will lead to a reduction in interest rates and a rebound in private sector activity.

II. Policies and Measures for 2002

A. Disaster Relief

5. With regard to the food shortages expected for later this year, pledges of humanitarian aid broadly cover the estimated food aid requirements and the government will undertake commercial food imports through the National Food Reserve Agency (NFRA) to ensure that sufficient quantities of food are available in Malawi. Moreover, the government will provide a subsidy estimated at 1.1 percent of GDP, mostly benefiting the segment of the population that is expected to be outside the target group for food aid but has insufficient income to fully satisfy the minimum caloric requirement at import parity prices.

6. The government will address the operational weaknesses in the implementation of the current food security strategy that failed to prevent this year's food crisis. Our food security policy is based on four pillars: early warning systems to monitor the food situation and indicate shortages between six and nine months in advance; a physical buffer stock of between 30,000 and 60,000 metric tons to address a short-term emergency; sufficient international reserves at the central bank to finance any imports for a more prolonged crisis; and social safety net programs to meet the food needs of the poor. However, during 2001, an immediate response to the food crisis was compromised as the crucial early warning systems turned out to be relying on flawed agricultural crop estimates. This failure had tragic consequences as we relied on these systems and had sold off almost the entire buffer stock as part of the process to replenish it with the maize from the approaching harvest. The government has since transferred the responsibility of producing agricultural crop estimates to the National Statistical Office (NSO) and decided to undertake an external audit financed by donor assistance of the sale of the buffer stock. All elements of the forthcoming food security operation will be set out transparently, clearly communicated to the public, and carefully monitored and controlled, including through civil society participation.

B. Fiscal Policy

7. The overall financial envelope for the 2002/03 budget envisages a reduction in the domestic deficit to 5½ percent of GDP from 8 percent of GDP in 2001/02. The adjustment in the 2002/03 budget will come from the trimming down of nonpriority expenditure (2¼ percent of GDP), the enhancement of revenue (1¼ percent of GDP), and savings from the interest bill (1 percent of GDP). But the 2002/03 budget will also increase the allocation to priority pro-poor expenditure (PPE) by ¾ of one percent of GDP, building upon the already higher allocation for PPEs in the 2001/02 budget (which increased by 1¾ percent of GDP), while ensuring food security through a maize subsidy (about 1 percent of GDP). To support the implementation of the budget, we have strengthened expenditure control and introduced a system for tracking pro-poor spending, so as to enable MPRSP stakeholders to monitor the budget execution.

8. Most of the adjustment will come from cutting back nonpriority expenditure. To that end, the government will:

  • extend through 2002/03 the new guidelines on travel policy on both internal and external travel;

  • cancel or scale back low-priority projects in the development budget, including certain housing projects for teachers, elderly, chiefs, and soldiers; and

  • audit the payroll, initially in the Ministries of Education, Health, Agriculture, Police, and Defense by end-June 2002, to remove "ghost" workers and prevent the continued overfunding of the wage bill.

9. To ensure a decisive turnaround, the government will also implement tax measures. We intend to:

  • effect the extension of the surtax to the retail stage in September 2002;

  • introduce a new personal income tax bracket (40 percent) for high-income earners with the budget;

  • increase excise rates on motor vehicles, and alcohol with the budget;

  • introduce a 20 percent export tax on raw, unprocessed tobacco to counter tax evasion on tobacco circumventing the auction floors;

  • curtail drastically discretionary duty exemptions other than on donations or imports by diplomatic missions, NGOs and international organizations to counteract the recent increase in nondutiable imports with the budget; and

  • build up capacity in the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to strengthen tax administration including by carrying out effective and well-targeted audit programs to strengthen enforcement.

10. On expenditure control measures (Chapter 4.4.3.1), we will enhance the operation of the Credit Ceiling Authority (CCA) system by end-July 2002 by:

  • the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) and the Accountant General (A-G) setting up holding and subholding accounts corresponding to all operating accounts with commercial banks;

  • ensuring consistent and timely recording of all funding and reimbursement transactions;

  • assigning A-G staff to the RBM to support the reimbursement process, so as to ensure that the reimbursement claims are made within the respective credit ceilings against the line ministry holding accounts;

  • eliminating unused budget balances in the CCA system carried forward between fiscal years within one month after the end of the fiscal year; and

  • the Secretary to the Treasury issuing a circular, with support from the Secretary to the President and the Cabinet, to controlling officers on clear performance expectations for financial management and integrating these into their performance-based employment contracts.

11. To protect execution of the pro-poor oriented part of the 2002/03 budget, the government will put in place a monitoring and control framework to track pro-poor expenditure (Chapter 6.3.1), consisting of the following elements:

  • Based on the MPRSP, the 2002/03 budget is transparently identifying PPE programs and subprograms with a direct poverty-alleviating impact, which will be prioritized and protected with regard to budget execution.

  • The Ministry of Finance will, if feasible, introduce a separate CCA for PPEs with effect from July 2002 to ensure that funding is not diverted to low-priority expenditure.

  • Expenditure on PPEs will be tracked using the existing reporting mechanism from line ministries on a monthly basis and made publicly available through the website and newspapers.

12. To facilitate expenditure management, the monitoring and analysis of the budget will be strengthened by (Chapter 6.3):

  • improving the existing reporting systems, so as to develop more reliable and timely expenditure and revenue reports;

  • ensuring proper reconciliation of the various data sets (e.g., the CCA, Commitment Ceiling System, expenditure returns, and donor funding reports);

  • undertaking a timely monthly reconciliation of line ministry expenditure data with banking data;

  • compiling monthly consolidated fiscal reports for policymakers, so as to facilitate better monitoring and analysis of fiscal policy; and

  • submitting monthly expenditure and financing reports to the Cabinet Committee on the Economy.

13. In addition, we will also address the following areas:

  • Wage policy (Chapter 4.4.3.2). The government is developing a medium-term wage policy linked to civil service reform to improve wage competitiveness, lower attrition rates, and strengthen public sector performance. To support this policy, the government will complete a comprehensive review on civil service remuneration policy to adjust internal and external job relativities, and it will introduce a new policy with the 2003/04 budget in conjunction with the implementation of the functional reviews. The reform will streamline, prioritize, and make more effective the operations of government.

  • Arrears data. The government will undertake the following actions for monitoring and preventing arrears:

    1. undertake by September 2002, a comprehensive inventory of all payment arrears as of June 30, 2002 by the Auditor General and the Ministry of Finance, if needed with support from external auditors;

    2. strengthen the sharing of information among the Ministry of Finance, Auditor General, and line ministries in line with the agreed memorandum of understanding of March 2001;

    3. extend the agency payment system in the Accountant General's Office to a number of line ministries experiencing a large accumulation of utility arrears; and

    4. discharge any new expenditure arrears within the current budgetary allocations of line ministries and continue not to carry out offsetting operations.

C. Structural Reforms

14. The MPRSP emphasizes that progress in parastatal reform is essential to achieve the macroeconomic, poverty-reduction, and growth objectives.

  • To reduce mismanagement and facilitate the restructuring and commercialization of the parastatals, the government will strengthen the monitoring and control of their operations and borrowing activities by (Chapter 5.2.2.1):

    1. developing and adopting by September 2002 the authorization system for borrowing by parastatals. Any borrowing by parastatals must have Ministry of Finance approval; and

    2. reaching an agreement by September 2002 with all parastatals on a repayment schedule for domestic arrears.

  • The government will continue commercializing the Agricultural Development and Marketing Corporation (ADMARC) in preparation for its privatization (Chapter 4.4.3.2). The following schedule of actions has been developed:

    1. Following the audit of ADMARC's operational and financial activities in February 2001, the costs of operating nonprofitable agricultural markets has been budgeted for 2002/03. The process of commercializing these retail outlets will be completed by March 2003.

    2. Following the transfer of ADMARC's subsidiaries (David Whitehead and Sons, Shire Bus Lines, Grain and Milling, and Cold Storage) to the Ministry of Finance in early 2002, the government audited the main companies. The cabinet will by end-July 2002 issue a directive on the divestiture options and will complete the process to privatize or liquidate these subsidiaries by end-2002. The liquidation of David Whitehead and Sons will be initiated by July 2002. Furthermore, the government has instructed ADMARC Investment Holding Company to divest its minority shareholdings (in particular SUCOMA and National Bank). The proceeds will be used to retire central government domestic debt. In cases without commercial value, the government will seek to close down the companies, so that they do not become a drain on the central government's budget.

    3. Finally, the draft legislation repealing the ADMARC Act will be submitted to parliament by end-September 2002. The government guarantees on ADMARC's external credit lines have expired, and no new ones will be extended.

  • The government will also privatize the Malawi Development Corporation's two main subsidiaries, Sunbird Tourism and Malawi Property Investment Company, by end-2002. The transactions for Malawi Telecom Limited (MTL) and Air Malawi (Chapter 4.4.3.2) will also be completed by end-2002. The Commercial Bank of Malawi was privatized in December 2001.

D. Governance

15. We are committed to improving governance (Chapter 4.4.1.1). Thus, the government has:

  • submitted for the review by the Law Commission the draft amendment to the Corrupt Practices Act, with the aim of presenting a revised draft to parliament by end-2002; this draft will specify a level of proof that ensures an expedient corruption prosecution process, make abuse of offices an offense under the Corrupt Practices Act, and establish a "whistle-blower" program;

  • established a program to train magistrates in interpreting the Corrupt Practices Act that will be implemented immediately (after financing becomes available); and

  • increased the staffing levels of the Anti-Corruption Bureau (ACB) substantially and will further increase staff, particularly in the investigative branch.

E. Monetary Policy

16. The RBM will continue to use the broad money stock (M2) as the nominal anchor to control inflation, with reserve money as the operational target. For 2002, annual inflation is targeted at 5 percent; to this end, the RBM will limit year-end reserve money growth to less than 8 percent. The principal instruments to achieve these targets will be open market operations (Chapter 5.2.2.2).

17. Consistent with the use of money as the nominal anchor, the exchange rate of the kwacha will remain market determined. The RBM's intervention will therefore be limited to meeting the net official reserves target and smoothing exchange rate movements.

18. The RBM will resume its comprehensive review of the financial sector regulatory framework, with a view to developing a medium-term action plan by June 2002. To strengthen it's financial reporting and controls, the RBM has created an oversight committee and developed a timetable to implement the recommendations of the Fund's safeguards assessment.

F. External Sector

19. The government's trade strategy will focus on (Chapter 4.1.2.5)

  • meeting commitments to liberalize trade by 2008 with other Southern African Development Community (SADC) members under the free trade area launched in September 2000, in order to complete the process of removing all duties with its trading partners in the Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) and to consolidate its commitments under the Regional Integration Facilitation Forum (RIFF). The government will make efforts to ensure there is consistency between its various regional commitments; and

  • removing recently imposed import license requirements on cement and sugar and import bans on dairy products, vegetable cooking oil, and dry cells by July 2002.

G. Statistics and Transparency

20. Recent events have highlighted serious shortcomings in our core data bases that we will address by

  • urgently reviewing our system for projecting crop estimates to establish a more reliable system in time for the harvest in 2003;

  • providing adequate funding for, and recruitment to, the NSO and its relocation to Lilongwe by December 2003; and

  • developing an action plan for improving the quality of statistical information, particularly regarding data on sectoral national accounts, trade statistics, and the consumer price index.

21. Indicative quantitative targets of our economic program for the period through end-December 2002 are presented in Table 1. The prior actions and structural benchmarks are set out in Table 2.

22. We are firmly committed to implementing the policies set out above to bring our economic program back on track.

Table 1. Malawi: Quantitative Targets Under the PRGF Arrangement, 20021
(In millions of Malawi kwacha, unless otherwise indicated)


  2002     
End-June  

Rev. Prog.
  2002     
End-Sep.
 
Rev. Prog.
  2002     
End-Dec. 

Rev. Prog.

Ceiling on the stock of reserve money2,3 8,019       8,855       8,623    
Floor on the net foreign assets (NFA) of the monetary authorities4
98       81       56    
(in millions of U.S. dollars)          
Ceiling on the total financing of the central government5 6,069       2,812       5,249    
Clearance of new domestic budgetary arrears6 . . .       . . .       . . .    
Ceiling on the stock of external arrears7 0       0       0    
Ceiling on contracting or guaranteeing of external debt by the central government and the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM)          
  Medium and long term8 0       0       0    
  Short term9 0       0       0    
Memorandum items:          
Baseline for balance of payments support for NFA adjuster (in millions of U.S. dollars)10 23       82       157    

1Targets for reserve money, net foreign assets and external payment arrears relate to the respective stocks. All other targets for end-June are expressed as cumulative changes from December 31, 2001; and targets for end-September and end-December are expressed as cumulative changes from June 30, 2002. All targets are defined in the technical memorandum of understanding (TMU).
2The ceiling is set as an average of daily reserve money.
3The ceiling will be adjusted downward (upward) to reflect any decrease (increase) in the RBM reserve requirements on deposits.
4The floor will be adjusted downward (upward) for any shortfall (excess) of balance of payments support from its programmed levels, up to a maximum of US$50 million.
5The ceiling will be adjusted downward for any transfers from the RBM to the central government and upward for promissory notes issued to cover RBM's operational losses in 2001.
6Any new domestic budgetary arrears verified during the quarter, to be cleared by the end of the following quarter.
7Applicable on a continuous basis.
8Exclusions are specified in the TMU.
9Includes debt with maturity up to and including one year. Exclusions are specified in the TMU.
10Includes debt relief under the enhanced HIPC Initiative and excludes IMF disbursements. The adjuster is expressed cumulatively from December 31, 2001.

Table 2. Prior Actions and Structural Benchmarks

Prior Actions for the First Review
Implementation of the tracking system of pro-poor spending, as agreed in the Memorandum of Understanding. Partially done. The budget program classification will need to be extended to fully incorporate the final PRSP priorities.
Compilation by the Ministry of Finance of a consolidated fiscal report assessing the prospects for meeting budget targets. Not done.
Issuance by the secretary to the treasury of a letter of financial expectations to controlling officers. Not done.
Cabinet decision on the divestiture of ADMARC's noncore assets and transfer of control of David Whitehead and Sons to the Ministry of Finance. Transfer of control completed. Cabinet decision on divestiture expected by end-July 2002.
Appointment of a Director for PERMU and appointment to parastatal boards. Done.
Structural Benchmarks
Developing authorization procedures and reporting requirements for parastatals' domestic and external borrowing. Draft available.
Dissemination of monthly reports on spending on priority (poverty-related) programs with target publication date of one month after the end of the month. Draft table available for spending through March 2002.
Development of a domestic debt management policy of the central government. Draft available.
Timetable for the strengthening of statistical capabilities. Draft available.
Quarterly reports by PERMU on parastatal financial statements and borrowing. Quarterly reports prepared.

 

Malawi: Technical Memorandum of Understanding

1. This memorandum sets out the definitions for quantitative program targets under which Malawi's performance under the program supported by a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility (PRGF) arrangement will be assessed. Monitoring procedures and reporting requirements are also specified.

I. Quantitative Program Targets

2. Targets for June 30, 2002, September 30, 2002, and December 31, 2002 have been established with respect to

  • ceilings on the stock of reserve money;

  • floors on the level of net foreign assets of the monetary authorities;

  • ceilings on the cumulative total financing of the central government;

  • clearance of new domestic budgetary arrears of the central government;

  • ceilings on the contracting and guaranteeing by the central government or the Reserve Bank of Malawi (RBM) of medium- and long-term external debt; and

  • ceilings on the contracting or guaranteeing by the central government or the RBM of short-term external debt.

3. A target that is applicable on a continuous basis has been established with respect to the ceilings on the stock of external arrears of the central government and the RBM.

II. Institutional Definitions

4. The central government includes all units of government that exercise authority over the entire economic territory. However, in contrast to the System of National Accounts (SNA) and government finance statistics (GFS) standards, nonprofit institutions that are controlled and financed by the central government are excluded for the purposes of this memorandum.

5. The accounts of the monetary authorities include the balance sheet of the RBM and the central government's holdings of international reserves.1

III. Limits on Monetary Aggregates

A. Reserve Money

6. A ceiling on the stock of reserve money applies. For the purposes of the program, the stock of reserve money for the quarter will be calculated as the arithmetic average (mean) of the stock of reserve money at all working days (Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday) in the quarter.

7. Reserve money consists of currency issued by the RBM and balances of commercial banks accounts with the RBM. It includes required reserves held for kwacha deposits and any other domestic currency-reservable liabilities and other demand and time deposits held with the RBM.

8. Adjusters. The ceiling on the stock of reserve money will be adjusted downward for a decrease in the reserve requirement ratio and the ceiling will be adjusted upward for an increase in the ratio, taking into account any change in the share of reserve assets which can be held with a discount house.2 For each month of a particular quarter, the following calculation would be undertaken: [(1- the old percent of reserve assets which can be held at discount houses) multiplied by (the program baseline required reserve ratio) minus (1 - the new percent of reserve assets which can be held at a discount houses) multiplied by the new required reserve ratio] multiplied by the amount of reservable deposit liabilities in commercial banks as at the end of the previous calendar month. To determine the adjustment for a quarter, an average is calculated over the adjustment for each month in the quarter and the adjustment of the month preceding the quarter; in the calculation of the average, a weight of one third is given to both the adjustment in the first and second month in the quarter, and a weight of one sixth is given to both the adjustment in the last month in the quarter and the month preceding the quarter. The average is then applied to the target for the respective quarter.

B. Limit on Net Foreign Assets of the Monetary Authorities

9. A floor applies to the level of net foreign assets (NFA) of the monetary authorities. NFA will be valued in U.S. dollars at actual end-of-period exchange rates. Monetary gold will be valued at the fixed RBM accounting rate. NFA will be calculated as the difference between gross international reserve assets and international reserve liabilities.

10. Gross international reserve assets of the monetary authorities are defined as the sum of

  • monetary gold holdings of the RBM;

  • holdings of SDRs;

  • Malawi's reserve position in the IMF;

  • central government (treasury) holdings with crown agents; and

  • foreign currency assets in convertible currencies held abroad that are under the direct and effective control of the RBM and readily available for intervention in the foreign exchange market or the direct financing of balance of payments imbalances and are of investment grade or held with an investment-grade institution.

  • Excluded from the definition of gross reserves are any foreign currency claims on residents, capital subscriptions in international institutions, assets in nonconvertible currencies, and gross reserves that are in any way encumbered or pledged, including, but not limited to, reserve assets used as collateral or guarantee for third-party external liabilities.

11. International reserve liabilities of the monetary authorities are defined as the sum of

  • outstanding liabilities of the RBM to the IMF; and

  • any foreign convertible currency liabilities of the RBM with an original maturity of up to and including one year.

  • Excluded from the definition are liabilities arising from balance of payments support of original maturities of more than one year.

12. Adjusters. The floor on NFA will be adjusted upward, up to a maximum of US$50 million, for balance of payments support (including grants and loans) in excess of the programmed level as set out in the table on quantitative targets. The floor on NFA will be adjusted downward, up to a maximum of US$50 million, for balance of payments support (including grants and loans) falling short of the programmed level as set out in the table on quantitative targets.

13. Balance of payments support shall comprise all grant and loan external financing that is not automatically linked to additional budgetary expenditure. Project financing to fund particular activities is excluded from this definition, including food security funding from the European Union. Loan financing from the IMF is also excluded from the baseline balance of payments support. Given the large magnitudes involved, debt relief under the HIPC Initiative will be included in the projection of baseline balance of payments support.

IV. Limit on the Financing of the Central Government

14. A ceiling applies on the total financing flows of the central government (TFCG) which is measured cumulatively from December 31, 2001 for the end-June 2002 target; and cumulatively from June 30, 2002 for the end-September 2002 and end-December 2002 targets.

15. TFCG is defined as the sum of the change in the stock of net credit from domestic banks and nonbanks, the change in domestic payment arrears, privatization proceeds from government assets that accrue to the central government,3 the change in the net deposits in the account held with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in Japan, external balance of payments support as defined in paragraph 13, and other external debt instruments as defined below minus amortization of external debt. Project loans and grants are not included in the financing definition.

16. Net credit from domestic banks is computed as the sum of (i) net borrowing from the RBM (including ways and means advances, loans, holdings of local registered stocks, and holdings of treasury bills minus deposits), (ii) net borrowing from commercial banks (including advances, holdings of local registered stocks and holdings of treasury bills minus deposits), and (iii) holdings of promissory notes. The treasury bills and local registered stocks are valued at cost.

17. Net credit from domestic nonbanks includes (i) holdings of local registered stocks by the private sector and other financial institutions, (ii) holdings of Treasury bills by the private sector and other financial institutions, (iii) supplier credits, and (iv) holdings of promissory notes. The treasury bills and local registered stocks are valued at cost.

18. Domestic budgetary arrears are defined as the net accumulation of new budgetary arrears during the current fiscal year.

19. New budgetary arrears are defined as those payments delayed on central government commitments during the current fiscal year, including on wages and salaries, pensions, transfers, domestic interest, goods and services, and payments to the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) for tax refunds. Payments on wages and salaries, pensions, and transfers are in arrears when they remain unpaid for more than 30 days beyond their due date.4 Domestic interest payments are in arrears when the payment is not made on the due date. Payments for goods and services are deemed to be in arrears if they have not been made (i) within 30 days of the date of invoice, or--if a grace period has been agreed--(ii) within the contractually agreed grace period.

20. The account held with the Bank of Tokyo-Mitsubishi in Japan was set up for the delivery of Japanese debt relief. The net deposit in the account is calculated as the cash debt relief deposited by Japan5 minus withdrawals from the account6 valued at the end-month Yen-kwacha exchange rate.

21. The definition of external debt instruments is set out in Executive Board Decision No. 6230-(79/140) of August 3, 1979, and as amended by Decision Nos. 11096-(95/100), October 25, 1995, and 12274-(00/85) August 24, 2000. For the purpose of this memorandum, "other external debt instruments" of paragraph 15 include in particular special loans such as external supplier credits and external holdings of promissory notes; excluded are external balance of payment loans; instruments to restructure, refinance, or prepay existing debts; and any kwacha- denominated treasury bill and local registered stock holdings by nonresidents.

22. Amortization of external debt is defined as amortization of project loans, balance of payment loans, and other external debt instruments.

23. Adjusters. The ceiling on TFCG will be adjusted downward for any transfer from the RBM to the central government and upward for promissory notes issued to cover RBM's operational losses in 2001.

V. Clearance of New Domestic Budgetary Arrears of the Central Government

24. Should at any time during the program new domestic budgetary arrears of the central government (as defined in paragraph 19 above) be verified, then the government will clear these arrears by no later than the end of the fiscal quarter following the fiscal quarter in which these arrears were accumulated.

VI. Limits on External Debt

A. Limit on Medium- and Long-Term External Debt

25. A ceiling applies to the contracting and guaranteeing by the central government, the RBM, or other agencies on behalf of the central government on debt with nonresidents with original maturities of over one year. The ceiling applies to debt and commitments contracted or guaranteed for which value has not been received. The ceiling is measured cumulatively from December 31, 2001 for the end-June 2002 target; and cumulatively from June 30, 2002 for the end-September 2002 and end-December 2002 targets.

26. The definition of debt, for the purpose of the limit, is set out in Executive Board Decision No. 6230-(79/140) of August 3, 1979,7 and as amended by Decision Nos. 11096-(95/100), October 25, 1995, and 12274-(00/85) August 24, 2000.

27. Excluded from the limit is the use of Fund resources; adjustment lending from the World Bank, the African Development Bank, and other multilateral agencies; debts to restructure, refinance, or prepay existing debts; concessional debts; and any kwacha- denominated treasury bill and local registered stock holdings by nonresidents.

28. For program purposes, a debt is concessional if it includes a grant element of at least 35 percent, calculated as follows: the grant element of a debt is the difference between the net present value (NPV) of debt and its nominal value, expressed as a percentage of the nominal value of the debt (i.e., grant element is equal to nominal value minus NPV divided by nominal value). The NPV of debt at the time of its disbursement is calculated by discounting the future stream of payments of debt service due on this debt. The discount rates used for this purpose are the currency-specific commercial interest reference rates (CIRRs), as published by the OECD. For debt with a maturity of at least 15 years, the ten-year average CIRR will be used to calculated the NPV of debt and, hence, its grant element. For debt with a maturity of less than 15 years, the six-month average CIRR will be used. For the purposes of the program through December 2002, the CIRRs published by the OECD in May 2002 will be used (http://www.oecd.org/). For example, based on July 2000 CIRR rates, a U.S. dollar-denominated debt with a 10-year maturity would be considered concessional if the interest rate did not exceed 3 percent.

B. Limit on Short-Term External Debt

29. A ceiling applies to the contracting and guaranteeing by the central government, the RBM, or other agencies on behalf the central government of debt with nonresidents with original maturities of one year or less. The ceiling applies to debt and commitments contracted or guaranteed for which value has not been received. The ceiling is measured cumulatively from December 31, 2001 for the end-June 2002 target; and cumulatively from June 30, 2002 for the end-September 2002 and end-December 2002 targets.

30. The definition of debt, for the purpose of the limit, is set out in Executive Board Decision No. 6230-(79/140) of August 3, 1979, and as amended by Decision Nos. 11096-(95/100), October 25, 1995, and 12274-(00/85) August 24, 2000.

31. Excluded from the limit are (i) debts classified as international reserve liabilities of the RBM; (ii) debts to restructure, refinance, or prepay existing debts; (iii) kwacha-denominated treasury bills and local registered stocks held by nonresidents; (iv) normal import financing; and (v) convertibility guarantees of the kwacha by the RBM. A financing arrangement for imports is considered to be "normal" when the credit is self-liquidating.

VII. Limit on External Payment Arrears

32. A continuous target applies on the nonaccumulation of external payment arrears on external debt contracted or guaranteed by the central government or the RBM. External payments arrears consist of external debt-service obligations (principal and interest) that have not been paid at the time they are due, as specified in the contractual agreements.

VIII. Reporting Requirements for Technical Memorandum of Understanding

33. The authorities have committed themselves to using the best available data, so that any subsequent data revisions will not lead to a breach of a target. All revisions to data will be promptly reported to the Fund staff, particularly when the changes are significant. The likelihood of significant data changes will be communicated to Fund staff as soon as the risk becomes apparent to the authorities. All data will be reported electronically in the format and frequency set out below and within the period specified.

34. On a weekly basis within five working days of the end of the respective week, the balance sheet of the monetary authorities will be reported; and on a weekly basis (each Wednesday) with a two day lag, daily gross reserves, the daily US dollar to kwacha exchange rate, daily net interventions of the RBM in the foreign exchange market, daily reserve money, the daily net volume on open market operations, and the results of treasury bill and RBM bill auctions will be reported (reporting agency: RBM).

35. On a monthly basis within 30 working days of the end of the respective month, the monetary survey, the monetary authorities' accounts, the commercial banks' accounts, the international reserves position, local registered stock holdings, treasury bill holdings, interest rates, exchange rates, the consumer price index, guarantees extended by the RBM or central government on foreign operations of Malawian residents (reporting agency: RBM); and a consolidated table on total financing of the central government, including domestic and foreign financing will be reported (reporting agencies: RBM and Ministry of Finance).

36. On a monthly basis within 30 calendar days of the end of the respective month, the fiscal accounts of the central government, tables summarizing by line ministries achievement of commitment levels and arrears in the CCS3 and CCS4 returns, CCA, supplementary CCA, and reimbursement to commercial banks, and, within 45 days, a review summarizing the monthly reports by line ministries on commitment levels and arrears and assessing prospects for meeting budget targets will be reported (reporting agency: Ministry of Finance).

37. On a monthly basis within 30 calendar days of the end of the respective month, central government reports on spending on priority (poverty-related) programs (reporting agency: Ministry of Finance); and the revenue data and SGS import data will be reported (reporting agency: Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA).

38. On a quarterly basis within 45 calendar days of the end of the respective calendar quarter, the borrowings of the ten major parastatals (reporting agency: Ministry of Finance); a report on performance under the program (reporting agencies: RBM and Ministry of Finance); and a report on the verified expenditure arrears will be transmitted (reporting agency: Auditor General).


1The counterpart entry to the central government's international reserve assets will be classified as "net credit to central government."
2Currently, 25 percent of reserve assets can be held with discount houses.
3Some receipts from the privatization of parastatals have been split between the central government and the holding companies of the former parastatals. Only those receipts that accrue to the central government constitute financing of the central government.
4Pension benefits that are being assessed following retirement are not considered to be in arrears.
5Accounted for as a grant above the line.
6Accounted for as expenditure above the line.
7http://www.imf.org/external/pubs/ft/sd/index.asp?decision=6230-(79/140).

 

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