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Hungary could wind up IMF negotiations in autumn, says Varga

Banking

Hungary could wind up negotiations with the International Monetary Fund on precautionary financial assistance in the autumn, Mihály Varga, Hungary's chief negotiator with the international body, said on public radio on Thursday.

Varga said a round of intensive negotiations would start again after the IMF's general meeting.

The annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank Group will take place in Tokyo on October 9-14.

Varga said a draft agreement acceptable to all sides at the talks could be prepared with the close of the next round of negotiations.

He confirmed that Hungary had received a response from the IMF to a letter the government sent in September that focused on the country's macroeconomic path and related fiscal measures.

Varga said the government would reevaluate next year's projection for economic growth of 1.6% in light of the European crisis.

The government sees opportunity to boost the efficiency of collection of taxes on consumption, first of all the collection of VAT, he said, while conceding that it remains a matter of debate how much can be collected from the black and grey economy. The government is optimistic, he said, adding that a broad restructuring at the National Tax and Customs Authority (NAV) over the past two years had significantly boosted the efficiency of tax collection.

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