The International Monetary Fund (IMF) issued an official statement over the conclusion of the 9th review talks on the stalled loan program.
IMF mission chief to Pakistan Nathan Porter, in a statement, said that the timely and decisive implementation of policy measures along with resolute financial support from official partners are critical for Pakistan to successfully regain macroeconomic stability and advance its sustainable development.
Also Read: Pakistan failed to reach an IMF deal regarding Bail-out Package
Pakistan is currently in talks with the IMF delegation that arrived in Islamabad on 30th January 2023 to discuss the stalled ninth review of the 7 Dollars billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
The statement, issued after the mission concluded its 10-day Pakistan visit, welcomed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s commitment to implement policies that are required to “safeguard macroeconomic stability”.
He also thanked the authorities for the “constructive discussions”.
The IMF chief noted “considerable progress” was made during the talks with Pakistani officials on “policy measures to address domestic and external imbalances”.
The IMF mission chief said that the “virtual discussions” will continue between the two sides in the coming days to finalize the “implementation details” of the policies.
Earlier Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were “on track” and the government would share “good news” on the matter regarding the Loan program will be settled today.
While speaking to the media, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said, “I am going to meet the IMF mission. The final round of talks with the Fund is currently underway.”
“Talks are on track and we will share good news today. There are no differences with the IMF team,” he maintained. The finance minister said during a media talk in Islamabad giving hopes that the two sides would soon reach a deal after “tough” talks.
Now today latest reports are that Pakistan failed to reach any Staff level of agreement the regarding the IMF Bailout Package of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) Program.
According to the latest details, The International Monetary Fund (IMF) handed over the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) to Pakistan after the conclusion of talks, however, the staff-level agreement was not signed so far.
Pakistan and the IMF have concluded their talks after having discussions on various economic sections and sectors.
The finance secretary Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh confirmed that the IMF handed over the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) to Pakistan. Sheikh said that Pakistan and IMF have not signed a staff-level agreement so far as some matters are due to be settled which will be finalized in Washington.
Hamid Yaqoob Sheikh said that both sides agreed on actions and prior steps. He added that the IMF mission sought more time to sign the staff-level agreement for the 9th review which will be signed after getting approval from the IMF Washington headquarters.
The finance secretary said that the IMF mission is waiting for the approval of the declaration from Washington’s headquarters that will issue a statement after reviewing the recent talks.
Earlier this week The International Monetary Fund (IMF) expressed dissatisfaction over financial indiscipline and mismanagement in government offices and departments.
The IMF often provides assistance to countries facing financial difficulties and may advise governments on how to improve their financial management practices to restore financial stability and promote economic growth. According to sources, the IMF has expressed dissatisfaction over the persistent deficit in state-owned entities.
“There is a lack of improvement in electricity and gas transmission losses,” IMF pointed out. “Pakistan continuously bearing losses in the energy sector,” the IMF delegation observed. “It insisted on privatization of the state entities bearing losses,” sources said.
Some credible sources claim that “IMF is also demanding eliminating corrupt practices and retapes in government entities and business-friendly and convenient tax collection mechanism,”
The lending institution has demanded the privatization of Balloki and Haveli Bahadur Shah LNG power plants, privatization of government banks running in losses, House Building Finance Corporation, and other state-owned entities.
Sources claim that if IMF determines that a government is not adhering to sound fiscal practices, it may delay or withdraw its support.
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif while chairing an apex committee in Peshawar said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was giving Pakistan “a Tough time” for unlocking stalled $7 billion loan programme.
Premier said “As we all know, an IMF delegation is in Islamabad for holding talks on the stalled loan program and giving a very tough time to the finance minister and his team,”
Premier said, “Our economic situation is unimaginable” adding “You all know we are running short of resources,” Sharif said, adding Pakistan “at present was facing an economic crisis that’s beyond imagination.”
Declaration of Assets
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) demanded Pakistan amend its laws regarding the assets declaration of public servants.
According to the sources inside the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the IMF requested the public declaration of the government servants’ assets. not only this but the IMF also demanded details of the overseas assets of the bureaucracy, sources said.
Sources said that The IMF has also demanded to make public the government officers’ assets. IMF Proposed setting up an Electronic Assets Declaration System for transparency.
“Bureaucrats’ assets will be checked prior to the opening of a bank account,” sources said. “Banks will get information from the FBR for the opening of accounts of bureaucrats.”
“All 17 to 22 Grade officers have to provide all information before opening a bank account,” sources said.
It is to be Pertinent that The IMF asked Pakistan to impose roughly Rs600-800 billion in additional taxes in the second round of talks to revive the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) stalled for months.
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