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Pakistan’s new financial wizard prioritises talks with the IMF

April 20 , 2019

Photo: AFP

Soon after taking charge on Saturday, the new adviser to the prime minister on finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, announced that he has already contacted the IMF and will be preparing a budget strategy paper.

A medium-term budget strategy paper and the immediate start of talks with the IMF are the two urgent things we discussed today, he told journalists at the ministry of finance in Islamabad.

He said it has been decided to present on April 30 a budget strategy paper to the cabinet for approval while immediate contact has been established with Jihad Azour, the IMF director of the Middle East and Central Asia.

“We want an early visit of the IMF mission to Pakistan in order to accelerate and complete the process in the best interest of the country,” said Dr Shaikh.

Related: Dr Hafeez Sheikh takes charge as finance adviser

The economic adviser said he has expressed the Pakistani government’s commitment to taking the talk process further to the IMF official. They have also made a commitment regarding the programme, he said.

Shaikh said he is also going for talks with the IMF mission head for Pakistan this evening. I have given directions to prepare a budget strategy paper, revenue and expenditure targets have been also finalized, he added.

Earlier, the new economic adviser met with Finance Secretary Younus Dhagha, finance ministry spokesperson Dr Najeeb Khaqan and other senior staff members at the ministry of finance.

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