By World Bank
Ecuador?¦s remarkable economic functionality of 2003 is encouraging, yet fragile. a number of structural bottlenecks may possibly bog down economic self-discipline and restoration, that's a pre-condition to enhance a poverty aid schedule. Tax earmarkings and exemptions and an expansive payroll and pensions invoice have diminished to a minimal the on hand monetary area for improvement wishes. Reversing poverty developments is necessary for the country?¦s balance, and this may in simple terms be accomplished with well-targeted, potent and effective pro-poor courses. the established order isn't really an choice for poverty aid. maintaining a valid economic place and deepening optimistic social results is definitely nearby. one of the country?¦s many strengths are: a chronic oil providence; the lifestyles of and compliance with monetary ideas; reducing arrears that are supposed to totally disappear in 2004, important growth on social results regardless of reducing budgets; and a sequence of on-going reforms on finances administration. If reforms are to be successful, they must be pro-poor. Ecuador?¦s economic tension and bad price range administration is deeply rooted in a governance method reaping rewards the elites, be it mirrored on pro-rich subsidies, specially on easy infrastructure; off-budget operations that hinder transparency and foster corruption, or regressive transfers to subnational governments defined by means of occasion politics. The problem for the govt. is to supply greater, effective, sustainable and equitable tips to the negative.
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Additional resources for Creating Fiscal Space for Poverty Reduction in Ecuador: A Fiscal Management and Public Expenditure Review (World Bank Country Study)
5-5 percent of GDP. This could be achieved in the short term by reducing spending and by complying with the fiscal rule. Current primary spending should be curbed by preserving until 2005 the on-going freeze of the public payroll and maintaining pensions at their 2003 level in real terms. Comply with mandated debt reduction using 70 percent of FEIREP proceedings for repurchasing of external debt. Announce a draft budget reform bill to: (a) integrate off-budget activities, especially subsidies paid by PetroEcuador; (b) freeze or reduce non-constitutional budget earmarkings; and (c) reduce central government 40 percent contribution to IESS.
Arrears have been declining since 2000, but a sizable financial gap of about US$548 million still remained for 2004 by mid-year. Weaknesses in the budget processes and institutional bottlenecks play a major role in the poor performance of social programs and municipal spending. Recent reviews of international experience with poverty reduction strategies have concluded that in many countries, the practice of PEM is an obstacle to achieving poverty reduction objectives. Ecuador is no excep- xxx A WORLD BANK COUNTRY STUDY tion.
Policy Recommendations To address the challenges faced by the Government in its fiscal policy, this report recommends an agenda of policy actions that would promote the three key objectives of fiscal stability, pro-poor spending, and budget management. While fiscal reforms face formidable political-economy and institutional obstacles in Ecuador, increasingly large segments of public opinion may be won over to the pro-reform camp if a close connection between the need for fiscal adjustment and the creation of the fiscal space needed for a poverty reduction strategy is spelled out to the citizenry.