THE Minister for Finance and Planning, Dr Philip Mpango, has faulted the International Monetary Fund (IMF) leaked report, which indicated that the country’s economy will grow at an average rate of four per cent this year.
“The IMF report does not reflect the reality. I have the African Development Bank (AfDB) and World Bank (WB) reports, which show our economy will grow at 6.8 per cent and 6.6 per cent respectively,’’ Dr Mpango told the National Assembly yesterday.
He issued the clarification when debating the 4.9tri/- 2019/2020 budget estimates for the Ministry of Works, Transport and Communications. The minister issued the clarification after Kigoma Urban MP on ACT Wazalendo ticket, Zitto Kabwe and Momba Lawmaker, David Silinde (CHADEMA), said that although the government’s move to invest 18.7tri/- on various projects in the ministry of Works, Transport and Communications during the past three years, still the country’s economy was dwindling.
The MPs said that the government had been dishing out a lot of money in various sectors within the ministry, but the IMF report projected that the country’s economy was expected to go down up to four percent this year, contrary to an average growth rate of seven per cent, as the government has been insisting. However, Dr Mpango was quick to point out that the leaked IMF report did not reflect the reality, asking the MPs to read the AfDB and WB reports respectively.
Last Month, there were claims from a section of opposition MPs that the government had blocked the publication of IMF report, but Dr Mpango told the National Assembly that the claims were baseless and that they were mere fabrications. Instead, the minister said, consultations were underway on the improvement of the economic document.
The inspection entails at least one annual visit by IMF economists to the member country to analyse data and convene meetings with the government and central bank officials.
IMF experts were in the country between November 26 and December 7, last year for consultations, particularly on getting the government's views on the economic status as per Article IV of the IMF. Thereafter, they produced a draft report, which was also submitted to the government for collection of more views to improve the document.
"I saw that report in March this year, but our views were not incorporated and I have spoken with the IMF director over the matter... the talks are still continuing, we haven't stopped release of the report, we are only working on normal procedures," Dr Mpango clarified, noting that the Executive Board of the IMF also has discussions over the report.