Albania will receive the first loan tranche worth EUR 100mn from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in February, AMA news agency reported citing deputy finance minister, Erion Luci.
Albania and the IMF agreed on a EUR 300mn loan deal in December 2013. The 36-month Extended Fund Facility (EFF) was requested by the Albanian government in order to settle debt towards the private sector.
The government plans to start clearing arrears and unpaid bills towards the private sector in March 2014. The finance ministry has already prepared a strategy for payment of the arrears. According to it, the government plans to settle ALL 72.5bn (EUR 516mn) in total of debts within a three-year period.
Funds will be distributed for payments for goods and services, tax refunds as well as liabilities arising from judgments against the state, charges for public expropriation, arrears of persons with disabilities.
Under the schedule, about half of the payments, or ALL 35bn, will be made in 2014 and the remaining parts of ALL 20bn will be settled in 2015 and ALL 17.5bn in 2016.
The IMF has said that debt settlement is expected to have a favourable economic effect, through the resumption of credit growth by helping lower NPLs and supporting domestic demand.
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