“Tunisia does not have a new programme to present to the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” Finance Minister Sihem Boughdiri Nemsia said on Monday, adding that negotiations with the international financial institution were continuing.
Speaking at a plenary session of the ARP, Nemsia noted that an IMF mission will visit Tunisia in December under Article IV and will hold meetings with government officials as part of the negotiations between the two parties.
“This will not change Tunisia’s position on conditions that could undermine social peace,” she added.
According to her, if Tunisia has not yet been able to reach an agreement with the IMF, “it is because it has rejected the conditions demanded by the Fund, in particular those relating to the subsidy system, which could affect social peace, considered a red line by the head of state.
In the same context, the Finance Minister pointed out that “although Tunisia does not have a new programme to present to the Fund, it is working to introduce reforms through the 2024 Finance Law, which provides for alternative mechanisms to finance the subsidy system.”
These reforms “will be home-grown and must benefit vulnerable social groups, the middle class and the Tunisian economy.
Nemsia said the Ministry of Finance’s approach does not contradict the general policy of the State. “On the contrary, we are committed to the approach approved by the Head of State, which consists of relying on ourselves and negotiating with the various donors on an equal footing.”
The provisions of the Finance Bill 2024 are designed to mobilise funds without the need to resort to external loans and also to meet the country’s financial commitments at this delicate time, the Minister said.
She pointed out that Tunisia has so far managed to repay its debts and that it is committed to repaying the remaining loans for 2023, including a loan due at the end of October.
As a reminder, the volume of external borrowing provided for in the original Finance Law for 2023 was revised downwards from 14,859 million dinars (MD) to 10,563 MD, by the Amending Finance Law.