Pakistan, IMF hold significant discussions in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are having important discussions in the federal capital on Wednesday to review the proposed bailout package and national economic situation among other concerns.

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The IMF delegation, which arrived Pakistan on Monday, is likely to wrap up the technical details of the proposed loan by May 6, which is estimated to be around $7-8 billion.

IMF will be briefed on the new tax amnesty scheme by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) along with privatisation programme, power and gas tariffs, and the government’s policies.

The Special Adviser to Prime Minister on finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh is leading the Pakistani delegation along with three additional secretaries and a senior joint secretary from the finance ministry. While Secretaries from the Power Division, Petroleum Division, and the chairmen of the FBR and Securities and Exchange Commission of Pakistan are also attending the meeting.

During the visit of China, Prime Minister Imran Khan met with IMF Director Christine Lagarde on Friday after attending the second Belt and Road Forum in Beijing. Both sides realised the importance of the IMF programme for Pakistan’s economy while evaluating the relationship between the country and the global money lender.

PM highlighted the government’s efforts for stabilising Pakistan’s economy, control inflation and attain fiscal balance.

Both sides agreed on the need for establishing a social safety net for susceptible factions of the society.

Following the meeting, Lagarde showed enthusiasm for devising a comprehensive policy package to ease the stressed economy of the country in a social media post.

She added, “we discussed prospects for a comprehensive policy package and international financial support to help stabilize the economy of Pakistan, and also the need to strengthen governance and protect the poor.”

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