Government proposes roadmap to "revive economy" | Tunisia News Gazette

Government proposes roadmap to “revive economy”

The national unity government has just prepared, as part of its economic and social programme for 2020, a roadmap that is calls an ambitious and essential action plan” to overcome the crisis and “revive” the Tunisian economy.

This document targets an economic recovery based on important medium-term reforms, including the modernisation of public administration to ensure, through simplified administrative measures for businesses, a developed and business-friendly administrative climate.

According to the same document, the government will work to develop the governance of state-owned enterprises based on a participatory approach and case-by-case examination of the situation of public enterprises and all sectors.

The Prime Ministry plans to integrate the structural reforms proposed by this roadmap into all future budget laws.

It also plans to split public institutions and enterprises according to the criterion of activity (competitive, non-competitive and public service) and according to the importance (strategic and non-strategic) and also to revise the legal texts relating to the authorities that manage public enterprises.

National agency for management of state holdings

The Prime Ministry’s document pointed to the possibility of creating a central and single administrative structure or a steering and coordinating body that could be a national public investment management agency or a higher authority of public institutions.

With regard to the financial structure, the roadmap provides for the maintenance of the public character of the establishments and will then decide on their strategic aspect, whether they are currently operating in the public service or constitute a monopoly of the State.

For public institutions operating in a strategic-competitive or non-strategic-state monopoly sector at present, the document provides for financial and social restructuring measures to initially achieve the financial balances.

The State will seek to introduce strategic partners in the capital of concerned enterprises as part of public-private partnership (PPP).

For non-strategic enterprises, the roadmap proposes privatisation to sustain these institutions and preserve and promote jobs.

With regard to banking reform, the action plan proposes the continuation of the reforms already undertaken and the start of new reforms concerning the restructuring of the banks with non-strategic state holdings and strengthening the mechanisms of treatment of debt portfolio in public banks.

The reforms will also focus on the revision of the regulatory framework governing interest rates and the creation of a regional bank with the publication of the code of collective investment companies and the revision of the legal framework governing the financial market, in addition to putting in place a strategy on financial inclusion, restructuring of the micro-credit sector and the overhaul of the legal framework for debt collection companies.

The document mentioned six other topics in economic reform, namely “the realisation of public projects under the PPP,” the restructuring of small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in difficulty “,” the draft law on foreign exchange amnesty”, increasing exports and diversifying the economic fabric “,” improvement of the business climate “and” economic emergency law “.

19 public projects would be implemented under PPP

A total of 19 projects have been identified and could be carried out within the framework of the PPP or jointly by companies with an intangible contribution from the State (land contribution) while the private sector would be in charge of funding and financing and realisation, which will boost private investment, create jobs and consolidate economic development.

The SMEs in difficulty will be restructured by rescheduling their debts, financing tangible and intangible investments and bailing out their own resources.

The roadmap provides for a foreign exchange amnesty targeting resident natural and legal persons with foreign currency in the form of foreign banknotes in Tunisia or foreign currency assets abroad.

Emphasis will also be placed on improving the attractiveness of the business climate, so as to improve the global positioning of the business climate.

An economic emergency bill will also be drafted and include exceptional provisions aimed at accelerating the implementation of major public and private projects facing several difficulties that impede their implementation.

Source: TAP News Agency

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