ISLAMABAD - At the time when thousands of people are protesting against the government in federal capital, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has noted that Pakistan's economic indicators are improving with growth continuously gaining momentum and inflation on a downward trajectory.
"The IMF is encouraged by the overall progress made in pushing ahead with policies to strengthen macroeconomic stability and reviving investment and growth. Economic indicators are generally improving, with growth continuing to gain momentum, inflation on a downward trajectory, and credit to the private sector rebounding sharply. GDP growth is now expected to rise by 4.3 percent in fiscal year 2014-15 (till June 30), compared to a provisional estimate of 4.1 percent in FY2013-14", said a brief statement issued by the Fund on Monday.
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team led by Jeffrey Frank visited Dubai from August 6 to August 18, to conduct discussions on the fourth review of Pakistan's IMF-supported programme under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The IMF chief Jeffery Frank was expected to visit Pakistan to hold joint press conference with Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on the conclusion of fourth review. However, he cancelled his visit to Islamabad keeping in view the protest demonstrations of Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek in the federal capital.
Therefore, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar visited Dubai for attending the concluding session of the talks.
"The meetings and discussions held with Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar and Central Bank Governor Ashraf Wathra have been useful. The government of Pakistan's reform programme was broadly on track through end-June. The mission made excellent progress toward agreement on key policy issues going forward. Discussions will be continuing in the coming days via videoconference from Washington, DC, with the aim of securing a timely completion of the fourth review," the IMF statement said.
"The mission thanks the Pakistani authorities and technical staff for their cooperation and reaffirms the IMF's support to the government's efforts to implement their economic reform agenda."
Sources in finance ministry informed that Pakistan was likely to receive fifth tranche worth $550 million by the next month (September) when the Fund’s mission would present its report in the executive board meeting for approval. They added that Pakistan had requested for waivers pertaining to non-compliance by the State Bank to meet target for Net Domestic Assets (NDA) and second minor deviation by the federal government on breaching end-June 2014 limit on borrowing from the central bank.
It is worth-mentioning here that Pakistan has already received four tranches worth $2.2 billion under extended fund facility (EFF) during the previous financial year 2013-2014.
Meanwhile, according to brief statement issued by finance ministry, Senator Ishaq Dar has arrived back in Islamabad after attending session of policy level discussion with IMF for 4th review at Dubai. The policy level dialogue will continue in Dubai and expected to be finalised by the coming Friday. Due to the meeting of the parliamentary committee on electoral reforms, scheduled for tomorrow at Islamabad, the finance minister, who is also the chairman of the committee, had to rush back to Islamabad. It may be mentioned that Policy level dialogue takes 3 to 4 days to conclude.