Govt, IMF discuss policies, reforms required to complete 9th review

The government and the International Monetary Fund( IMF) on Tuesday began conversations on the country’s profitable and financial programs and the reforms needed to complete the important- delayed ninth review of a$ 7 billion loan programme. A delegation of the transnational plutocrat lender led by IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter held a meeting with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and other officers at the Finance Division in Islamabad. The meeting was also attended by IMF Resident Representative Esther Perez Ruiz, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, SAPM on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha, State Bank Governor Jamil Ahmad, finance clerk, FBR president and other government officers. A press release issued by the ministry after the meeting said Dar briefed the delegation about the government’s financial and profitable reforms in colorful sectors, including energy, and measures to bridge the financial gap and stabilise the exchange rate. He also informed the IMF charge that reforms were being introduced in the power sector and a “ high- position commission has been formed for contriving modalities to neutralize the imminence of indirect debt in the gas sector ”. Dar assured Fund officers that Pakistan would complete the ongoing programme. He extended all his support to the charge and committed to working together to reach an agreement to complete the ninth review under the Extended Fund Facility( EFF), according to the press release. The ministry’s press release said IMF Mission Chief Porter expressed confidence that the government would fulfil the conditions for completing the review and hoped that Pakistan would continue towards its progress on the reforms in colorful sectors and complete the IMF programme within time effectively. Porter said IMF and Pakistan would be working together on financial reforms, it added. Pakistan entered a$ 6bn IMF programme in 2019, which was latterly expanded to$ 7bn, and the ninth review is presently pending. Addresses on the review were firstly listed to be held in October but kept on facing detainments. The country’s foreign exchange reserves have depleted to$3.7 bn, which isn’t enough to cover indeed three weeks of significances. In such a situation, Pakistan needs to urgently complete the ninth review, which would not only expend$1.2 bn but also unlock inrushes from friendly countries and other multinational lenders. Last week, the government removed an unofficial cap on the USD- PKR exchange rate and raised petrol prices — both conditions set by the IMF for addresses to move ahead — by an trouble to revive the stalled loan programme. The government may have to withdraw energy subventions to big import diligence, besides cuttingnon-salary, unnecessary civil and security costs as part of harsh reforms needed to gain the IMF’s concurrence for an profitable bailout. The specialized discussion would continue till Feb 3. The alternate phase of policy accommodations would continue till Feb 9 to finalise a memorandum of profitable and fiscal programs.

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