PUBLIC FINANCE How To Fix Weak Governance And Obsolete Systems

by Subra Ramamurthy


Type : Hardbound

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Summary of the Book

This book begins with the current fiscal situation in eurozone countries such as Greece and Spain who emboldened by the currency integration adopted the policy of borrowing in euro that was available at low interest rates, and fueled their public spending. For a while they enjoyed a rising level of prosperity at the cost of burgeoning public debt. This resulted in the erosion of productivity in these countries making their exports uncompetitive, poor financial governance and lax surveillance of tax collections. Although the Maastricht Treaty creating the euro zone laid down strict norms for fiscal deficit and public debt in relation to GDP for the member countries, these were circumvented by creative fiscal accounting practices and underlying obsolete systems that understated their real levels. When the truth was discovered, there was a near-implosion in the euro area requiring collective bail-out measures by Germany and others to save it from collapse. Failure to adopt high fiscal management system standards that allowed such misleading practices is not uncommon in other regions, such as transition economies and developing countries.

Fiscal policies may vary across countries, but countries should reform their fiscal management systems adopting international standards. The book sets out the common contours of these reforms. The author shares his knowledge and forty years of international experience with countries planning to improve their fiscal management systems.

About the Author

Subra Ramamurthy is well known internationally as a fiscal management expert and he has over forty years of experience in about thirty countries, such as Russia, Kazakhstan, China, Central Asian and East European countries, and the Middle East. He mostly worked for the International Monetary Fund starting in 1991 as its full-time resident advisor and was later engaged as peripatetic specialist on its technical assistance programs and diagnostic missions. Pre-1991 he was with the Commonwealth Secretariat and the United Nations.

He was also engaged in delivering specially tailored lectures to Russian speaking and Arab countries and China.

His expertise in fiscal management ranges from preparation of economic forecasts and medium-term fiscal framework to budget execution issues and planning and implementing management information systems.

His qualifications include FCIS, FCCA (UK), and PhD (USA). He has authored several papers and his articles on fiscal issues have appeared also in professional journals

He brings to this book his scholarship, unique and sometimes exotic experience and insight into fiscal management system reforms and challenges under diverse country settings to share with the international public finance practitioners.

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