The third tranche will be awarded to Suriname based on a decision made by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) board on Monday. Technical agreement was achieved last month. When asked about the next board meeting in a talk with the media, Karel Eckhorst, the executive director for Suriname on the IMF’s executive board, responded, “It will be a difficult board meeting, but expectations are positive.”
Suriname will have access to US$53 million if the IMF management gives it a favorable appraisal, bringing the program’s total payments to date to roughly US$212 million. It is permitted to use the US$688 million set aside through the Extended Fund Facility. Because the program was suspended for almost a year and a half, it will not be possible to draw from the entire amount. Because the IMF conditions could not be met, no money was made available.
Each review examines whether the targets have been achieved. An important requirement of the IMF was the amendment of the VAT law. This has now been fulfilled. Furthermore, various subsidies must be phased out. This is now the case with fuel. The subsidies on electricity, gas and water have also been partially phased out. Various laws still need to be amended. This will start after the recess of the National Assembly. On September 29, President Chan Santokhi will deliver his annual speech and present the budget for the coming year to parliament.
The debt restructuring still needs to be completed with Oppenheimer’s bondholders. The debt restructuring with China also still needs to be completed. One of the things that still needs to be worked on is reducing expenses and increasing income. Furthermore, inflation, which is still far too high, must be curbed.