An IMF spokesperson said the board discussed potential changes to the policy during its regular review of the global lender’s precautionary balances, but failed to reach a consensus on reviewing the policy. “Overall, views on changes to the surcharge policy continued to diverge, including on the merits of a temporary waiver of surcharges,” the spokesperson said.
No details were provided, but the fund said it would publish a staff paper and a press release in the coming days that would provide a fuller account of the board’s deliberations. No date was set for any further board discussion. Kevin Gallagher, who heads the Global Development Policy Center at Boston University, said big shareholders should rethink their opposition, given the global economic outlook.
“This is the most urgent time to address a fundamentally flawed business model where the IMF is generating revenues by taxing those most in need,” Gallagher said. But it was notable, he said, that the IMF’s shareholders had failed to outright reject a review. “One silver lining is that the biggest shareholders … didn’t have enough strength to kill the proposal,” he said.