Pakistan, IMF to resume policy level talks from Monday

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) will resume the policy level negotiations from Monday.

Sources said that the technical talks between the Pakistan economic team and IMF concluded today (Friday).

Both sides reportedly discussed a number of matters including increasing the GST rate upto 18% to collect more taxes and audit of State Owned Enterprises (SOEs).

Both sides also discussed matters related to debt servicing, which could peak to a whopping Rs5.2 trillion in the current fiscal year 2022-23.

In addition, the IMF during the technical talks asked Pakistan to withdraw un-budgeted electricity subsidies for exporters and other sectors.

Reportedly, IMF during the technical talks also asked Pakistani authorities to take strict action for filling a yawning gap on account of fiscal slippages in order to restrict the primary deficit within the envisaged limits.

Meanwhile, FBR on the recommendations of IMF also issued SRO with regard to declaration of assets from grade 17 to 22 officials to banks.

The IMF was pressing Pakistan for the last many months that the government should publicise the assets and details of civil servants.

Sources said that the IMF and Pakistani team will resume the policy level talks from Monday and the Finance minister will also participate in these meetings.

It is pertinent to note that the Prime Minister on Friday also disclosed that the IMF delegation is giving a “very tough time” to the government team.

“The IMF delegation is giving a “very tough time” to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his team during discussions being on the ninth review of a $7 billion loan programme”, the PM said: “Our economic challenge at this moment is unimaginable. The conditions we have to fulfil [to complete the IMF review] are beyond imagination.”

The prime minister admitted the conditions the government has to fullfil are beyond imagination, but the country has no option but to accept them.

“You all know we are running short of resources,” Sharif said, adding the country was “facing an economic crisis”.    


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