IMF to decide on final review of Serbia's SBA on Apr 8.

By bne IntelliNews March 30, 2011
The IMF board of directors will meet on Apr 8 to discuss the seventh and final review of the two-year stand-by loan arrangement with Serbia, the IMF resident representative in Belgrade Bogdan Lissovolik told Tanjug. If the IMF directors approve the review, Serbia will be able to receive EUR 360mn. However, Serbian authorities have indicated that only EUR 55mn would be drawn, Lissovolik added. He recalled that the government and the IMF officials reached an agreement in February that any potential surplus in state revenues would be used only for targeted and one-off payments to public sector employees and pensioners. Lissovolik pointed out that compliance with this agreement remains an important condition for approval of the seventh review. Earlier in the week, labour minister Rasim Ljajic said that budget revenue projections will be available after April 20 and noted that the government would then decide how much could be spent on increasing pensions and public sector wages. Commenting on the issue, Lissovolik said that a permanent increase in public sector salaries and pensions was not in line with the government's accord with the fund. Serbia has so far drawn some EUR 1.5bn under its EUR 2.9bn SBA with the IMF agreed in 2009. The current SBA expires in April. There are indications that Serbia would probably try to secure a new precautionary deal with the IMF after the expiry of the current one.

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