LILONGWE-(MaraviPost)-The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has indicated that discussion of a possible new Extended Credit Facility (ECF) programme with Malawi will be top on the agenda during the fund’s executive board meeting to be held in Washington DC towards the end of this month.

IMF Resident Representative, Jack Ree, confirmed to The Daily Times on Monday.

This follows a visit by the IMF mission team in February, which was meant to review the impact of the last programme and also to engage authorities on priorities for the next programme.

“The IMF’s executive board of directors is expected to approve or shoot down the agreement,” Ree said.

IMF has since advised the government to enhance transparency in the budget process, strengthen the medium—term budgetary framework and cash management.

Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development, Goodall Gondwe, recently expressed optimism that the IMF executive board will approve the programme.

He cited positives such as lowering of inflation as indicators of government’s commitment to develop the economy.

Both IMF and Malawi authorities say the pillar for the next ECF programme is expected to be microeconomic stability so as to enhance growth of the country’s economy.

The programme, if approved, will seek to build on economic gains such as improvements in the exchange rate, inflation and interest rates.

Close to the end of 2017, IMF and Capital Hill said Malawians should expect a new programme in the second quarter of 2018.

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