21st November 2019, Skopje – Measures for digitalization of the institutions engaged in the fiscal sector, such as the Ministry of Finance and the Public Revenue Office, can have a significant effect on tackling the informality. At the same time, by applying the technology, further measures will be undertaken aimed at improving the fiscal transparency, as a precondition for fiscal efficiency. These were some of the topics discussed at the meeting between the Minister of Finance, Nina Angelovska, and the Governor of the National Bank, Anita Aneglovska – Bezhoska, and the IMF Deputy Managing Director, Tao Zhang, held in Skopje. IMF Resident Representative for Western Balkans in Vienna, Stephanie Eble, also attended the meeting.
During the meeting, IMF acknowledged the efforts the country makes in enhancing the fiscal transparency, such as the “Open Finances” platform, which was put into operation yesterday and which makes all payments from the state Treasury available to the public. In addition, the Fund expressed support for the ideas and the measures aimed at tackling informality.
IMF high-level representatives pointed out that the Fund and the Republic of North Macedonia have a partnership relation based on mutual recommendations and suggestions.
In its Concluding Statement following the recent Article IV Mission in the country, the IMF has underlined that reforms to tackle informality will help improve the business climate and protect workers, with potential large revenue gains. The IMF has underlined that informality is detrimental because formal businesses face unfair competition from the ones that do not pay taxes or comply with regulations, informal workers are deprived of many labor rights, and public resources are reduced.
According to IMF recent estimates, growth prospects of the Macedonian economy are higher. Growth is expected to strengthen further this year, while lower taxes and higher pensions and wages are expected to provide a further stimulus to consumption, which will result in even stronger growth next year.