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April 2020

April 30, 2020

What is the COVID-19 Crisis Impact on Public-Private Partnerships

Covid
Posted by Rui Monteiro and Ozlem Aydin Sakrak[1]

The coronavirus health crisis poses new challenges and uncertainties for public-private partnership (PPP) projects. Governments should be well prepared to take pro-active measures to defend health and jobs while protecting the public purse.

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April 29, 2020

Digital Solutions for Direct Cash Transfers in the COVID-19 Crisis

Covid
Posted by Gerardo Una, Sailendra Pattanayak, Richard Allen, and Gwenaelle Suc[1]

Experiences during previous pandemics and economic crises have shown that a range of transfer programs and modalities can be effective in protecting vulnerable households, including those in the informal sector and poorer regions. In the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, many governments are considering direct cash transfers to protect vulnerable households. In several developing countries, the scale of these payments is unprecedented (in the Philippines, over 70 percent of households will receive emergency transfers).

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April 27, 2020

Measuring the Cost to Governments of COVID-19

Covid
Posted by David Bailey[1]

The COVID-19 pandemic is imposing significant and varied costs to governments across the world, from both additional spending and from reduced revenue. To contain the spread of the virus, governments have enforced closure, or partial closure, of businesses and quarantining of individuals. To support struggling business and households impacted by these measures, governments have launched a variety of emergency schemes. These include the provision of subsidies, benefits, loans and guarantees as well as the temporary deferment, or cancellation, of tax obligations and other government revenue sources. Governments have also increased spending on healthcare. In many countries, these interventions have involved large amounts of public spending. Taken together with reduced revenues as economic activity has faltered, these actions will push many government deficits and debt levels above the heights reached during the 2008-09 financial crisis. Properly recording these measures in fiscal statistics is essential for assessing the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the government deficit and debt, as well as on the wider economy.

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April 22, 2020

“Do Whatever It Takes but Keep the Receipts”—the Public Financial Management Challenges

Covid

Posted by Manal Fouad, Gerd Schwartz and Claude Wendling[1]

Governments around the world have been doing “whatever it takes” to provide massive fiscal support packages to address the adverse impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on people and firms. The Spring 2020 Fiscal Monitor supported the speedy response by governments, but also advised to “keep the receipts.” In this context, adhering to fiscal transparency, public accountability and institutional legitimacy are the key public financial management (PFM) challenges for keeping the receipts, that is, managing the fiscal and economic fallout from the pandemic.  

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April 21, 2020

COVID-19: New IMF Notes on Fiscal Issues (Batch 2)

Covid

The IMF published on April 20, 2020 the following notes in its Special Series on COVID-19. The notes discuss PFM issues and other fiscal topics. The Special Series notes are produced by IMF experts to help member countries address the economic effects of COVID-19.

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April 20, 2020

How Oil-Dependent Countries can Respond to Coronavirus and the Oil Crash

Covid
By Andrew Bauer and David Mihalyi[1]

Countries that are net exporters of oil and gas will perhaps experience the biggest shock from the COVID-19 crisis. As of early April, Brent crude was trading at USD 30 per barrel and forecast to decline, a result of plummeting demand, a growth in supply and a lack of storage capacity. This represents the biggest single negative oil price shock in modern history.

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April 17, 2020

Fiscal Policies to Contain the Damage from COVID-19

Covidfsical2
Posted by Vitor GasparW. Raphael Lam, and Mehdi Raissi1

In times of pandemic, fiscal policy is key to save lives and protect people. Governments have to do whatever it takes. But they must make sure to keep the receipts.

The Fiscal Monitor shows how policymakers can offer emergency lifelines to: save lives; protect people from losing jobs and incomes, and companies from bankruptcies; and enable a recovery. So far, countries have taken fiscal actions amounting to about $8 trillion to contain the pandemic and its damage to the economy.

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April 16, 2020

COVID-19 is Testing Pakistan’s PFM Limits

Covid
Muhammad Afnan Alam[1]

Pakistan’s government in late March announced a range of fiscal and monetary policy interventions to do “whatever it takes” to strike a balance between a lockdown and ensuring that economic activity continues throughout the country on a limited scale. The government has announced a PKR 1.2 trillion (USD 6.76 billion) fiscal policy intervention, equivalent to 3 percent of GDP, to frame-freeze the economy whilst the two tiers of Pakistan’s government (federal and provincial) are making an all-out effort to contain the spread of the pandemic.

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April 13, 2020

PFM Solutions in India to Combat the COVID-19 Pandemic

Covid
Posted by Alok Verma and Anupam Raj[1]

The COVID-19 crisis has forced the government of India to enforce “social distancing” and a complete country-wide lockdown for at least three weeks. Government expenditure systems have been identified as one of the “essential services” to implement relief packages and make emergency payments to purchase medical supplies and equipment. Quick responses have been required to gear up procurement systems and build essential health infrastructure. Adding to the many challenges, the crisis hit at a time when India is closing its financial year, when mergers of many public sector banks are taking place, potentially impacting payment systems, and when the new Union Territory of Ladakh is being established.  

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April 09, 2020

Memo from Bangkok: Cash Management and COVID-19

Covid
Posted by Holger van Eden[1]

Compared to Europe and the US the spread of COVID-19 here in Southeast Asia seems for the moment to be less dramatic, although in the past week or so countries like Malaysia, the Philippines and Indonesia have seen a worrying acceleration. One of the related PFM questions we have received recently here at the IMF Capacity Development Office in Thailand (which like all UN entities based in Bangkok is working from home), is whether ministries of finance are well positioned with respect to their cash holdings in these uncertain times.

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April 07, 2020

COVID-19: Six IMF Notes on Fiscal Issues

Covid

The IMF published on April 6, 2020 the following notes in its Special Series on COVID-19. The notes discuss PFM issues and other fiscal topics. The Special Series notes are produced by IMF experts to help member countries address the economic effects of COVID-19.

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April 06, 2020

Responding to COVID-19 Challenges: Cash Buffers for a Rainy Day

Covid

Posted by Yasemin Hurcan, Fatos Koc, and Emre Balibek[1]

The COVID-19 pandemic is posing many challenges for the economy and PFM systems. Governments face the dilemma of finding additional resources to meet increased spending both on health and fiscal stimulus packages. At the same time, revenue collection is decreasing or delayed as the recession kicks in. In the immediate future, liquidity management will be critical to enable governments to meet their extended obligations.

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April 03, 2020

Chaos Empire Sits: COVID-19 and its Immediate PFM Challenges

Covid

Posted by Suhas Joshi[1]

“Chaos empire sits. And by decision more embroils the fray, by which he reigns; next him high arbiter chance governs all.”

John Milton’s words in his presciently named Paradise Lost resound in my ears as I walk along empty Bangkok roads looking for milk and eggs and, if the Gods are kind, some hand sanitizer or, as a last resort, I pray to Vishnu for some alcohol to use instead. As I return home with nothing, I wonder if the alcohol meant for my stomach could be used on my hands. That led me to think of the small businesses that have closed to meet the threat posed by COVID-19 and their unregistered employees. How indeed to help vulnerable sections of population in financial hardship in the developing world where the absence of good data and PFM systems makes this task even more difficult?

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