The International Monetary Fund has extended its Staff Monitored Programme in Zimbabwe by six months to allow the new administration to strengthen its policies and deliver on outstanding commitments under the programme.
The IMF said in a statement that its staff team will visit Harare in March to assess performance, combining the first and second reviews under the SMP.
The team will also set targets for a third review with an assessment at the end of June.
The SMP was approved by IMF Management in June 2013 for the period April–December 2013. At the time the country was being run by an inclusive government which included ZANU-PF and the two factions of the Movement for Democratic Change.
The Zimbabwe African National Union-Patriotic Front government which came to power after the 31 July elections expressed its commitment to the SMP programme at the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank in October.
The SMP focuses on putting public finances on a sustainable course, while protecting infrastructure investment and priority social spending, strengthening public financial management, increasing diamond revenue transparency, reducing financial sector vulnerabilities, and restructuring the central bank.
Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa said some of the benchmarks that Zimbabwe had to fulfil were the amendment of the Mines and Minerals Act so that the sale of minerals is more transparent.
The budget had to be restructured so that the amount spent on salaries is reduced from the current 70 percent to the acceptable standard of 30 percent.