Statement by IMF Managing Director Strauss-Kahn at the Conclusion of his Visit to the Republic of Tajikistan

Press Release No. 09/214
June 16, 2009

Mr. Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), issued the following statement today in Dushanbe at the conclusion of his visit to the Republic of Tajikistan:

“This is my first visit to the Republic of Tajikistan. I thank the people of Tajikistan, President Rahmon and his colleagues for their hospitality and the fruitful discussions. In my meeting with President Rahmon, I welcomed his government’s response to the severe external shocks. We agreed that increased donor support is a key element of the government’s strategy, and that raising social expenditures, in particular transfers to households, and education and health spending, was critical to alleviate the economic impact of the crisis on the population. At the same time, likely revenue shortfalls require difficult decisions on expenditures, and I noted that there may be a need to delay some priority capital projects until the economy recovers.

“Looking beyond the immediate tasks of managing the impact of the global crisis, I welcomed the authorities’ structural reform agenda. In particular, I congratulated President Rahmon on his recent decree that lays out his strategy for a resolution of the cotton debt overhang and a move toward market-based mechanisms in the agriculture sector. It will now be important to adopt a government resolution that details the implementation roadmap for the decree, and then follow through on these plans, including by granting all farmers full crop choice.”

“I also had an opportunity to visit the village Shainaki Chinor in Rudaki Rayon where I met with residents and the non-governmental organizations Panorama, Sharq, and Zerkalo, as well as the Center for Strategic Studies. This meeting gave me a first-hand impression of how the global crisis is affecting the citizens of Tajikistan though declining remittances and returning migrants. President Rahmon stressed that these external shocks were being compounded by power shortages in the winter months, and the heavy rains and flooding in the spring that hurt the agriculture sector.

“I assured President Rahmon that the Fund stands ready to continue supporting Tajikistan in its efforts to alleviate the impact of the global crisis on its population, strengthen key government institutions, and raise the country’s growth potential through reforms in the agriculture sector and the state-owned enterprises.”

The Fund currently supports Tajikistan with a Poverty Reduction and Growth Facility Arrangement (see Press Release No. 09/136).



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