SINGAPORE: Singapore has the intention to join in the multilateral effort to enhance the capacity of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to assist low-income countries, announced the Monetary Authority of Singapore (MAS) on Wednesday (Nov 2).
According to MAS, Singapore will participate by making grants to the IMF’s Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT), and the Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT). The PRGT supports concessional lending to low-income countries, while the CCRT enables the IMF to provide debt relief to low-income countries facing natural disasters and fast spreading epidemics, it said.
MAS added that developing countries in Asia will be able to benefit from these initiatives.
Singapore’s two grants, totalling US$20.3 million (S$28.15 million), will be paid for out of funds previously held at the IMF. MAS said a US$20 million grant will be made to the PRGT, and will be paid from Singapore’s undrawn share of the IMF’s distributed profits from earlier gold sales.
Another US$0.3 million grant will be made to the CCRT, and this will be drawn from unutilised balances under the previous Multilateral Debt Relief Initiative. These grants will not draw on MAS’ past reserves, it said.
The Bretton Woods Agreements Act, which was amended by the Parliament to enable MAS to make grants to the IMF, came into effect on Oct 7 this year. MAS will seek Parliament’s approval for these two grants at its next sitting on Nov 7, it said.
MAS added that the proposed grants cannot be unilaterally diverted to other IMF initiatives.
“Singapore’s proposed grants to the IMF are specific to the Poverty Reduction and Growth Trust (PRGT) and Catastrophe Containment and Relief Trust (CCRT), and cannot be unilaterally diverted to other IMF initiatives," said a spokesperson. "The IMF will require member countries’ consent for any transfer of their grant monies to other initiatives. MAS will consider the request and any future grant to the IMF will require Parliament’s approval."