Washington (IINA) � The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has agreed to pay out a $320 million second tranche of Tunisia's loan program after talks to agree on the government's reform priorities, the IMF Tunisia mission chief said on Monday.
The portion of the $2.8 billion loan program was delayed from December because of a lack of progress in reforms to cut public spending and overhaul state finances demanded by Tunisia's multilateral lenders.
With the disbursement of the new tranche, Tunisia will have received $638.5 million of the total loan amount.
In its conclusions, the IMF Mission said: Tunisia faces major economic challenges. The budget deficit and external account have reached record levels. The wage mass ratio in the gross domestic product (GDP) is now one of the largest in the world. Public debt has risen to 63 percent of GDP, while the core inflation rate recorded an increase.
"Growth in 2017 must double to reach 2.3 percent, but it will remain very low to significantly reduce unemployment, especially in the country's interior and among young people," the Mission said, adding: "The difficult economic situation requires rapid and decisive action to maintain economic stability and encourage job creation."
Source: International Islamic News Agency