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IMF says Pakistan needs more work on structural reforms

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ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is holding open, constructive discussions with Pakistan as part of a sixth review of the country’s 39-month, $6 billion financing programme that began in 2019, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said on Thursday.
Rice declined to say if disbursements under that programme had been halted but said further discussions are needed about Pakistan’s fiscal spending plans, structural reforms, particularly in the tax and energy sectors, and social spending.
The IMF staff was unable to complete the talks during a recent mission, but the global lender remained “fully engaged” and aimed to resume the discussions in the period ahead, Rice told a regular IMF briefing.
“We stand ready to continue to support Pakistan,” he said. “As the recovery gains strength, it will be important to accelerate the implementation of policies and reforms needed to address some of the long-standing challenges facing the Pakistani economy.”
Pakistan this month set a target of 4.8 per cent growth in gross domestic product for the 2021-22 financial year and a fiscal deficit target of 6.3pc. – TLTP