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IMF asks Pakistan to strictly adhere to financial discipline

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday insisted that Pakistan has to strictly adhere to financial discipline and said that the country has to implement the lender’s conditions for revival of the stalled Extended Fund Facility.

The IMF’s review mission, headed by Nathan Porter, is in Pakistan to hold technical and policy level discussions to revive the $7 billion EFF that has been stalled for months.

While the IMF team pressed for its conditions to be implemented, it accepted Pakistan’s request of providing relief to the country’s poor via the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar is heading the Pakistan team.

A Ministry of Finance statement said IMF resident representative Ms 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, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Jamil Ahmed, secretary finance, FBR chairman, members of the IMF delegation and senior officers from the Finance Division attended the meeting.

The meeting discussed and reviewed the economic and fiscal policies and reforms agenda to accomplish the ninth review under the Extended Fund Facility.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar welcomed the delegation and shared long standing friendly relations with the IMF. He briefed the mission on fiscal and economic reforms and measures being taken by the government in different sectors including bridging the fiscal gap, exchange rate stability and in energy sector for the betterment of the economy.

He said that reforms are being introduced in power sector and a high level committee has been formed for devising modalities to offset the menace of circular debt in gas sector.

Ishaq Dar told the IMF delegates that as finance minister he had successfully completed the IMF programme in the past and that the government was committed to complete the present programme as well.

He further extended all his support to the mission and committed to work together for reaching an agreement to complete the ninth review.

IMF mission chief Nathan Porter expressed his confidence that Pakistan will meet the IMF requirements for the completion of the ninth review and hoped that Pakistan would continue towards its progress on the reforms in various sectors and complete the IMF programme within time effectively.

He added that IMF and Pakistan will be working together on fiscal reforms.

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