Tunisia must quickly implement reforms to secure second tranche of IMF loan

 Due to Tunisia delaying in implementing the reforms imposed by the International Monetary Fund, the institution postponed the payment of the second tranche of a $2.9 billion loan it promised the nation,”said Tunisia’s minister of finance, Lamia Zribi.

Valued at about $320 million, the first tranche of the loan was provided in June 2016. While the second tranche was expected to be cashed in December, last year, the Bretton Woods institution has now decided to postpone it.

The Tunisian minister said an IMF delegation is expected to arrive in Tunisia in March to discuss the reforms conditioning the provision of the facility. In response to this, IMF said it would come to Tunisia only if the nation shows notable progress in the reforms’ implementation.

As part of reforms imposed by the institution, Tunisia must sell stakes in three State-owned banks and cut up to 10,000 jobs in the public sector. The country said it is ready to comply with IMF’s request.

Zribi added that the government is ready to establish new reforms in the public and banking sectors. The official indicated that the administration would immediately launch a voluntary early retirement program in the public sector. This should help cut at least 10,000 jobs in the sector this year.

Ecofin Agency 

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