Enhancing Social Spending in Support of Inclusive Growth in Asia
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Conference

Enhancing Social Spending in Support of Inclusive Growth in Asia

Colombo, SRI LANKA

July 14-15, 2016


Social spending is a key policy instrument for promoting inclusive growth and poverty reduction. This conference will: (i) discuss the basic principles that should guide the design of social spending policies to promote inclusiveness in Asia; (ii) identify key reform issues that need to be addressed, with an emphasis on reform experiences in Asia; and (iii) identify key policy reform challenges facing Asian countries. Two key messages will be emphasized. First, improving spending efficiency will be key to achieving the twin objectives of inclusive growth and poverty reduction in a fiscally sustainable manner, especially in the context of rapid population ageing. Second, in designing reform strategies, countries can learn from the diversity of reform experiences across Asian countries and beyond.

Program

July 14, 2016

8:00 am - 8:30 am

Registration

8:30 am - 9:00 am

Inauguration Ceremony
Opening Statement by the Honorable Finance Minister Ravi Karunanayake

Opening Statement by the Governor, Dr. Indrajit Coomaraswamy

Conference Agenda by Deputy Director Sanjeev Gupta, IMF Fiscal Affairs Department

9:00 am - 9:30 am

Photo session followed by refreshment

9:30 am - 11:15 am

Session I. The Redistributive Role of Fiscal Policy

Moderator:
Kasthuri Nanayakkarage Nalani Malkanthi Bandara
, Superintendent, Employee's Provident Fund Department, Central Bank of Sri Lanka


Presentation I. International Experience With Fiscal Redistribution

Speaker: Sanjeev Gupta, Deputy Director, Fiscal Affairs Department (FAD), IMF

This presentation will review the redistributive role that fiscal policy in advanced and developing economies covering social assistance, pensions, education and health; discuss the efficient design of fiscal redistribution; and describe the extent and nature of fiscal redistribution.
Presentation


Presentation II. Inequality, Inclusive Fiscal Policy, and Social Safety Nets in Asia

Speaker: Donghyun Park, Principal Economist, Economics Research and Regional Cooperation Department, Asian Development Bank

This presentation will highlight findings from the recent publication of ADB’s Asian Development Outlook 2014 which focuses on fiscal policy for inclusive growth. The presentation will also cover current landscape of social safety net systems in Asia and discuss policies to enhance their effectiveness.
Presentation


Presentation III. Efficient and Equitable Fiscal Consolidation

Speaker: David Coady, Division Chief, Expenditure Policy Division, FAD, IMF

This presentation will highlight the important role that social spending can play in protecting the poor from structural and fiscal reforms. Taking India as an example, the emphasis will be on how reforms focused on improving the design of SSNs can simultaneously promote poverty reduction and inclusive economic growth.
Presentation


Discussion

11:15 am - 11:30 am

Coffee Break

11:30 am - 1:30 pm

Session II. Price Subsidies and Cash Transfers

Moderator:
R H W A Kumarasiri
, Additional Director General, Department of Divinaguma Development, Ministry of Social Empowerment and Welfare, Sri Lanka


Presentation IV. Energy Subsidy Reform

Speaker: David Coady, Division Chief, Expenditure Policy Division, FAD, IMF

This presentation will highlight the magnitude of global and regional energy subsidies in the context of recent developments in international oil prices and country reforms. It will discuss the key ingredients for a successful reform of energy subsidies, with reference to recent reforms in Asia.
Presentation


Presentation V. Social Protection and Targeted Cash Transfers

Speaker: Mahedi Masuduzzaman, Senior Assistant Secretary, Finance Division, Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh

This presentation will discuss recent experience in Bangladesh in expanding the use of targeted cash transfers and how this can help to further reduce poverty while improving redistributive efficiency within fiscal constraints.
Presentation


Presentation VI. Social Benefits of CCT Beneficiaries in the Philippines and Its Policy Challenges

Speaker: Mateo Gelito Montaño, Undersecretary, Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Philippines

This presentation will discuss the role of conditional cash transfers (CCTs) that link social benefits to family investment in education and health of family members. Recent experience with CCTs in developing countries will be discussed, with an emphasis on policy challenges in Asia.
Presentation


Discussion

1:30 pm - 2:30 pm

Lunch

2:30 pm - 4:30 pm

Session III. In-Kind Transfers

Moderator:
Dao Quang Vinh
, Director General, Institute of Labour Science and Social Affairs, Ministry of Labor, Invalids and Social Affair, Vietnam


Presentation VII. School Quality and Economic Growth

Speaker: Eric Hanushek, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University, U.S.A.

This presentation will emphasize the importance of focusing on education quality in addition to access. Experience with promoting education quality in developing economies will be discussed and remaining policy challenges identified.
Presentation


Presentation VIII. Enhancing Access and Quality of Healthcare Services in Asian LMICs

Speaker: Ajay Singh Mahal, Professor of Health Systems and Economics, Nossal Institute for Global Health, The University of Melbourne, Australia
Presentation


Presentation IX. The Philippines Sin Tax Reform and Health Spending

Speaker: Shanaka Jayanath Peiris, IMF Resident Representatives in the Philippines

This presentation will describe the challenges countries face with expanding access to health care to the whole population. It will discuss alternative policy options and the experience of the Philippines who have successfully expanded coverage in a fiscally sustainable manner.
Presentation


Refreshment will be served

Discussion

7:00 pm

Dinner hosted by the IMF

July 15, 2016

9:00 am - 10:30 am

Session I. Evaluation and Implementation

Moderator:
Shiva Sharma
, Under Secretary, Revenue Management Division, Ministry of Finance, Nepal


Presentation I: Evaluating Social Spending Programs

Speaker: Rema Hanna, , Jeffrey Cheah Professor of South-East Asia Studies, Center for International Development, Harvard Kennedy School, U.S.A.

This presentation will emphasize the need to evaluate social spending programs to determine impact and refine design; identify alternative evaluation approaches and trade-offs; discuss key results from studies evaluating social spending.
Presentation


Presentation II: Fiji’s Approach to Inclusive Development

Speaker: Nilesh Prakash, Chief Economic Planning Officer, Strategic Planning Office, Ministry of Finance, Fiji

This presentation will discuss policy options for incentivizing service delivery in key areas such as education and health care. It will focus on key lessons from efforts to improve development and living conditions over the past few decades.
Presentation


Presentation III: Implementation of Electronic Transfers in Indonesia

Speaker: Kunta Wibawa Dasa Nugraha, Director of Budget Formulation, Directorate General of Budget, Ministry of Finance, Indonesia

This presentation will discuss the increasing use of technology to improve the delivery and monitoring of social benefits. Country examples will be used to describe the challenges in adopting this technology and the potential benefits.
Presentation


Discussion

10:30 am - 11:00 am

Coffee Break

11:00 am - 13:00 am

Session II. Implications of Ageing

Moderator:
Ken Kashiwase
, Senior Economist, OAP, IMF


Presentation IV. Expanding Insurance With Large Informal Sectors

Speaker: Md. Rajibul Ahsan, Senior Assistant Secretary, Finance Division, Ministry of Finance, Bangladesh

This presentation will discuss the challenges faced in expanding pension coverage in the context of large informal sectors. It will discuss experience in Asia in expanding pension coverage with an emphasis on strengthening program administration and databases. Bangladesh will be used as a country case study.
Presentation


Presentation V. Social Protection System in Cambodia

Speaker: Mengleng Touch, Official, Pension Division, Department of Insurance and Pension, General Department of Financial Industry, Ministry of Economy and Finance, Cambodia

This presentation will evaluate the current social protection programs in Cambodia, discuss policy challenges, and highlight a way forward to further improve the programs.


Presentation VI. Aging Population and Expanding Social Insurance in Vietnam

Speaker: Nguyen Dang Khoa, Deputy Head, International Cooperation Department, Ministry of Finance, Vietnam

This presentation will describe the experience and challenges faced in the context of expanding social insurance coverage in Mongolia over the last decade. It will also discuss ongoing policy challenges and future challenges posed by ageing.
Presentation


Discussion

1:00 pm - 2:00 pm

Lunch

2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Session III. Implications of Ageing

Moderator:
Shanaka Jayanath Peiris
, IMF Resident Representatives in the Philippines


Presentation VII: Fiscal Implications of Ageing

Speaker: Sanjeev Gupta, Deputy Director, FAD IMF

This presentation will present the finding of a recent paper on the fiscal implications of ageing throughout the globe. The presentation will also distinguish between the varying challenges throughout Asia.
Presentation


Presentation VIII: Live Long and Prosper: Aging in East Asia and Pacific

Speaker: Aparnaa Somanathan, Senior Economist, Health, Nutrition & Population Global Practice, World Bank

This presentation will present the findings of a recent report on the broad macroeconomic and social implications of ageing in Asia. It will discuss the range of sectoral challenges and policies that need to be considered.
Presentation


Presentation IX: Closing the Gap: Adequacy and Coverage of Old-age Pension in Sri Lanka

Speaker: Nisha Kanthimathie Arunatilake, Research Fellow, Labour, Employment and Human Resource Development, Institute of Policy Studies of Sri Lanka

This presentation will discuss Sri Lanka’s experience in population ageing, examine the coverage and adequacy of the different pension schemes, and discuss the fiscal cost of implementing a universal pension system.
Presentation


Discussion

4:00 pm - 4:30 pm

Coffee Break

4:30 pm - 5:30 pm

Session IV. Conference Wrap-Up

Moderator:
Sanjeev Gupta
, Deputy Director, FAD, IMF


Presentation X: Panel of IMF, Experts and Country Officials

Panelists:

Dao Quang Vinh, Director General, Institute of Labour Science And Social Affairs, Ministry of Labour, Invalids And Social Affairs, Vietnam

Eric Hanushek, Senior Fellow, Hoover Institution, Stanford University

Kunta Wibawa Dasa Nugraha, Director of Budget Formulation, Directorate General of Budget, Directorate, Ministry of Finance, Indonesia

Mateo Gelito Montaño, Undersecretary, Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Philippines

Discussion

7:00 pm

Farewell reception hosted by the Central Bank of Sri Lanka