ISLAMABAD

Policy level talks between Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) started on Monday in connection with the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Pakistan and IMF held technical level discussion under tenth economic review of Extended Fund Facility in Dubai during previous week. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar attended policy level meeting, which started on Monday, according to an official handout released by the ministry of Finance.

The IMF would give approval to release $500 million to Pakistan if economic managers of the country satisfy the international lender on the economic situation of the country. Pakistan had so far received $5 billion from the IMF under a 36-month programme supported by an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement of $6.64 billion approved in 2013.

Finance Minister in the meeting said that Pakistan was committed to successfully implement the macroeconomic stability program announced by the Government in June 2013. He said the excellent achievement in meeting the performance criteria under the program reflected the seriousness with which the program is being accomplished. He highlighted that it is not only the quantitative targets but also the rich agenda of structural reforms being undertaken with the aim of stabilization of the economy and creation of room for faster growth and poverty reduction. He also underlined the rising growth and declining inflation during the tenure of current government under the leadership of Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif together with significant expansion in coverage of BISP cash transfers, which would be rising from Rs.40 billion in 2012-13 to Rs.105 billion in 2015-16, increasing the coverage from 3.7 million to 5.4 million families and significantly enhanced income support annual stipend from Rs.12000 to Rs.18000 during this period.

The IMF Mission Chief, Mr. Harald Finger welcomed the Finance Minister and appreciated the efforts being expended by the Government team in achieving the goals and targets of the program and expressed hope that this performance would be maintained going forward.

The talks would continue in next two days and Tenth Review is expected to conclude by Thursday, 04th February 2016.