A delegation of the International Monetary Fund, currently on a visit to Islamabad, expressed on Tuesday its satisfaction over the three-month performance of the government.
The delegation, led by IMF’s Director Middle East and Central Asia Jihad Azour, held meetings on Tuesday with Prime Minister Imran Khan, Finance Adviser Hafeez Sheikh and members of the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance.
The finance adviser briefed the IMF delegates on the decrease in current account and trade deficits of the country. He informed the visiting IMF officials about growing exports of the country, the likelihood of receiving Rs1,000 billion in non-tax revenue and plans to expedite the privatisation of state-owned enterprises.
The IMF delegation expressed its satisfaction over the government’s performance, including the increase in tax revenue. The officials, however, clarified that there was no need for talks for resetting the difficult targets under the IMF programme.
Speaking to the media along with the finance adviser, IMF’s Azour said, “I don’t think there is a need for resetting of targets under the $6 billion IMF programme.”
He said it isn’t necessary for Pakistan to return Chinese loans during the programme. The IMF mission head stressed the need for bringing structural reforms in and empowering the state institutions.
Azour further said that no changes are being made to the programme’s objectives and the yearly tax collection target will not be reduced.
Later the delegates called on members of the NA Standing Committee on Finance. The two sides discussed different matters, including inflation, tax collection and reduction in rupee’s worth.
Pakistan entered into a three-year programme with the IMF in July. Under the programme, it will be given $6 billion over three years and must make major changes in the country. These changes include raising taxes and levies on items like gas and electricity.
The IMF delegation reached Islamabad early Monday on a four-day visit.