IMF wants transparency in debt commitments by countries

WASHINGTON, Apr 19: The International Monetary Fund has called for transparency in debt commitments made by countries, including those under the ambitious belt and road initiative (BRI) of China.

Such transparency would help in long-term planning of public finances, Vitor Gaspar, Director, IMF Fiscal Affairs Department told reporters here, yesterday.

“When it comes to debt, it is extremely important that the debt commitments be transparent and transparently assumed so that they can be appropriately reflected in the medium- and long-term programming of public finances,” Gaspar said.

He was responding to questions on the debt being accumulated by countries under China’s BRI.

Gaspar said the BRI had his support because such public investments were very important in many countries.

“..It (BRI) is a very ambitious one that promises to increase public investment in an ample set of countries. Increasing public investment, if it is productive, is very important in many countries. As such that is something that deserves to be supported, he said,” he said.

The BRI focuses on improving connectivity and cooperation among Asian countries, Africa, China and Europe

Gasper said public investment contributes to fiscal sustainability if the investment is efficient and productive.

“And in order to have that, it is very important — in many countries — to upgrade their public investment management systems,” he said.

“The IMF has been engaging over the years in capacity development in many countries, precisely to contribute to have the right conditions in place,” Gasper said. (PTI)