ISLAMABAD  - Talks between Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) concluded yesterday, as the Fund showed satisfaction on the country’s economic situation.

The IMF’s executive board will give approval to release $500 million to Pakistan. Pakistan has 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 Ishaq Dar and IMF’s mission chief for Pakistan Herald Finger will brief the media on the talks in Dubai today (Thursday). The IMF mission has cancelled its visit to Pakistan, as normally it comes to Islamabad to hold joint press conference with Finance Minister to share the details of the talks with media.

Pakistan and IMF held talks from January 26 to February 3 in Dubai for economic review of Extended Fund Facility.

The government has succeeded in meeting Rs625 billion budget deficit target for first half (July to December) mainly due to massive taxation. Under the IMF conditions, Pakistan had to restrict budget deficit to Rs625 billion (2.03 per cent of the GDP) during first six months of the current fiscal year. Similarly, the government has also narrowed the tax collection shortfall to five billion rupees by the end of December 2015, which was Rs40 billion during first quarter of the ongoing financial year. The Federal Board of Revenue had collected Rs1385 billion during July-December of the year 2015-2016 as against the target of Rs1390 billion.