IMF’s SOS mission arrived Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) SOS mission arrived Pakistan today (Monday) and is expected to meet Prime Minister Imran Khan and PM’s Adviser on Economy and Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh.

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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.

IMF team will put forward suggestions for economic reforms and reducing losses in the energy sector, added the sources.

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 PM Khan, added the IMF communications 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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