IMF mission to hold talks with govt officials today

ISLAMABAD: A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrived in Islamabad on Monday on five-day visit to discuss the financial bailout plan with the economic team of Pakistan.


Led by Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department, the mission will hold discussions with Pakistani authorities on fiscal issues, suggest ways to cut the fiscal deficit and review the reason of a shortfall in tax collection in the first two months of the current fiscal year, said the sources.

The IMF delegation will meet Prime Minister Imran Khan, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Hammad Azhar, and Federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar.

IMF team will put forward suggestions for economic reforms and reducing losses in the energy sector, added the sources. The ministers will brief the visiting delegation on the economic situation of the country.

Earlier, on Sept 13, the IMF had said Pakistan needed to increase its domestic tax revenue in order to fund development.

“One of the key elements of the program that the IMF is supporting in Pakistan, Pakistan’s program, is the need to mobilise domestic tax revenue to fund much needed social and development spending while placing debt on a firm downward trend,” said IMF Director Communications Gerry Rice.

This was something that was emphasised by acting the fund’s Managing Director David Lipton during his recent meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan, added the IMF director.

He further added, “let me add that we expect an IMF team to be in Pakistan in the next few days, including our Director for that area, Jihad Azur will be there.”

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) had received $1 billion from the IMF on July 10 as the first tranche of a bailout package for balance of payment support.


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