Government must consult with various stakeholders on new program with IMF
15/10/2021 14:41, TUNIS/Tunisia
(TAP)-The government must imperatively meet with the various stakeholders in order to agree on the reforms to be implemented as part of a new financing programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Director General of Financing and External Payments at the Central Bank of Tunisia (BCT) Abdelkarim Lassoued, underlined Friday to TAP.
"These reforms must be implemented within the next three months," he insisted in a statement to TAP in reaction to Moody's downgrading of the country's sovereign rating from B3 to Caa1.
"To get out of this impasse, the solution is exclusively political and economic," he said.
To this end, he added, the government must engage in consultations with the BCT, the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT), the Tunisian Confederation of Industry, Trade and Handicrafts (UTICA)and the civil society organisations.
The reforms should be of social nature, the official specified, adding that the 2021 complementary finance bill, presented on Thursday at the Cabinet meeting, is a "positive message."

/// Moody's pushes the government towards reform /// 

Moody's rating is aimed to put pressure on Najla Bouden's government to undertake the necessary reforms as soon as possible, he explained.
In this regard, he pointed out that the implementation of the IMF program could provide an answer to the weakening of governance, which is the cause of the downgrading of Tunisia's sovereign rating.
Indeed, according to the international rating agency, the weakened governance does not allow the implementation of budget and economic reforms.
Lassoued considered that Tunisia has been unable to implement the necessary reforms under the last two financing programs concluded with the IMF.
The issue of external liquidity in foreign currency is not currently raised in Tunisia, the expert said, as the BCT manages a more or less acceptable volume that covers about 4 months of the value of exports. These reserves will allow the country to meet its needs for exports and imports in 2020, he added.
In the short term, there is no reason to fear, Lassoued indicated, estimating however that if the country does not undertake economic reforms, the volume of reserves will regress and Tunisia will find itself in a situation of incapacity.
"This is where the real fear lies," he concluded.

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