Peruvian officials are expected to sign a three-year, $975 million loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund today.
The loan agreement, called an extended fund facility, sharply reigns in Peru's public borrowing and is thought to place many of President Fernando Belaunde Terry's ambitious development plans on the back shelf. Peru is trying to stabilize and restructure its economy.
In his weekly Sunday press conference, Belaunde alluded to the political price of the IMF agreement, saying "the fund knows Peru has made a supreme effort. On the one hand, they know of our moderation in public spending, and on the other, they know that the people have borne their share of sacrifice, that they have accepted stiff price hikes".
The agreement sharply limits foreign borrowing by the public sector, requires Peru to cut the fiscal deficit to 4.2 percent of its gross domestic product, cap losses on foreign reserves and place tough restrictions on public-sector borrowing from the central bank.
The accord sets a $1.1 billion ceiling on one- to 10-year foreign borrowing in 1982.
According to the authoritative financial monthly, The Andean Report, the limit on such borrowing is designed to "improve Peru's foreign debt profile and reduce the debt service burden, which currently uses up half" of its export income.
The publication quoted a Peruvian finance official as saying the measure was "an extremely tight limit; this time there are no loopholes."
An economic trends report released last week by the United States Embassy here said the agreement, which it called "tough but realistic," was an "endorsement, with some modifications," by the fund of the Belaunde government's economic policies.
"This recent demonstration of confidence in Peru by the international financial community reflects well on both the economic program and its makers and implementators," the report said.
It is clear that the agreement will mean postponing a number of development projects, and sounds the death knell for still others. During a visit here by an IMF team in March, a number of projects valued at $360 million have been cut from the budget in an efforts to reduce the public-sector deficit.
With a $1.1 billion ceiling on one- to 10-year debt, Peru will have to look to longer-term sources for the $2.7 billion needed in international finance for its short list of development projects.