Home General Talks with IMF still under way: says Muzammil

Talks with IMF still under way: says Muzammil

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ISLAMABAD: The Ministry of Finance has said that Pakistan has accepted most of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) new conditions and any reports that talks have failed are ‘premature’ at this stage.
Finance Ministry Spokesperson Muzzammil Aslam said in a tweet on Saturday that Pakistan will have to ensure the implementation of a privatisationprogramme to secure the IMF loan programme.
The spokesperson said dialogue with the IMF team is still underway, adding that a formal announcement on it will be issued as soon as talks conclude.
He said Pakistan will have to comply with the IMF’s new conditions if it wants the loan programme to be restored. “The IMF suggested that we review our economic targets and comply with conditions related to the power sector reforms,” he added.
The government will have to take measures to increase tax revenue, he said, adding that the IMF has rejected the ministry’s plan and imposed conditions that would see an increase in interest rates and fixing the market rate of the dollar. The IMF board will make the final announcement regarding the loan program, added the spokesperson.
The statement came after local media reported that Pakistan and the IMF have failed to finalise the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) that would have concluded the Sixth Review under a $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
The government had found itself in a very tough situation with respect to the international money lender’s demands. There are risks attached for Pakistan either with or without the IMF loans.
Meanwhile, another report says that Pakistan has agreed to implement most of the conditions of the International Monetary Fund for the resuscitation of its stalled $6 billion extended loan facility.
According to a private television channel report on Saturday, Pakistan succumbed to the global lender pressure agreeing to implement most of the conditions, which the Fund had proposed.
The IMF board will pronounce the final decision regarding the resumption of Pakistan’s loan programme. After the Fund’s approval, Pakistan will get $1 billion tranche under the extended loan facility.
Sources said that Pakistan agreed to raise tax collection, speed up privatization process and introduce reforms in the power sector as suggested by the international money lender.
The Fund has asked the Finance Ministry to review its economic targets. It has also imposed conditions of raising interest rate and fixing market rate of dollar. The Fund has rejected the Finance Ministry plan, sources informed.
The sources revealed that to make the talks successful, Pakistan would have to accept the tough conditions set by the Fund. And only when the country would assure the IMF of implementation on its tough demands then the talks could succeed, they added.
It was also learnt that the adviser to the prime minister kept receiving instructions from PM Khan even during the talks with the IMF. – TLTP, NNI