IMF pact for $1bn tranche to be signed this week: Tarin

Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has said that Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will sign an agreement on the release of a $1 billion tranche of a bailout package this week.

“All issues have been settled with the International Monetary Fund and an agreement will be signed this week,” Tarin said while talking to the media after the launching ceremony of Pakistan Single Window (PSW). There are some legal issues that will be resolved soon leading to a final agreement, the adviser further said.

“You can take an assurance from me right now, we are very close to an agreement,” Shaukat Tarin told reporters last week. “There are just one or two things which we are still discussing,” he added.

Replying to a question, the adviser said inflation is a global issue and the government is trying its best to tackle it and will announce the targeted subsidy in the coming days.

Earlier, addressing the launching ceremony of Pakistan Single Window (PSW), the adviser highlighted the importance of taking full advantage of new opportunities emerging out of global economic recovery being taking place after Covid-19. He said that one of the ambitious, wide-ranging and comprehensive reform initiatives undertaken in the public sector in recent years.

The adviser was of the view that during the past two years, Covid-19 has badly affected global supply chain and trade whereas the cost of production and shipping has also gone up. He said the world economies are recovering now and the business activities would not only resume but would also grow at much faster pace, so there is dire need to take advantage of this opportune situation

“The worst seems to be over and as economies begin to recover globally. We expect business activity to resume and in fact grow at a much faster pace. Pakistan and Pakistani business have to be ready for taking advantage of new opportunities,” he said.

Talking about the PSW, he said it will not only facilitate international trade but will also help accelerate digital transformation of the public sector agencies connected to international trade. He said PSW is in line with the vision of the government to promote competitiveness, transparency and efficiency and lauded Pakistan Custom for leading this initiative.

He said that it is the priority of the government to facilitate businesses, including small and medium-sized ones by providing a suitable enabling environment for growth and innovation and improving their competitiveness by reducing their cost and time for doing business.

He expected that the single window would provide a comparative advantage to Pakistan businesses and trading community to enter new markets to enhance exports.

The adviser said, PSW would further boost regional connectivity by effective use of technologies, ensuring enhanced facilitation of trade across borders.

Besides, he said it would also help counter financial crimes and trade based money laundering through integration of international shipping and databases and eventually enable seamless connection in dissemination of information to Customs, State Bank of Pakistan and other relevant agencies.

He lauded the efforts of development partners including World Bank, Asian Development Bank, USAID and IFC for providing technical assistance and support to PSW. He said the business community is also an active partner of PSW, expressing the hope that it would continue support to make PSW more robust and help in its evolution to cater to the needs of the businesses.


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