ISLAMABAD Finding no substantive progress in key areas committed under the Standby Loan Programme (SBA), talks between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the government remained inconclusive on Friday as the review process was deferred until November 13 and the government was asked by the international body to take tangible steps in that regard. The IMF team led by Adnan Mazarei described the governments progress on conditionality items including Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST), withdrawal of subsidies from power sector, and additional taxation for post-flood reconstruction as unsatisfactory. According to sources privy to the meeting, when the government side argued that the draft of RGST Bill was ready for tabling in the National Assembly, the IMF team observed that it would consider it progress only after presentation of the draft law to the Parliament. If your draft is ready, we believe that it should be presented to the Parliament by November 13, when we have to come back again for Pakistan Development Forum hear on November 14-15, the sources quoted Mr Mazarei as telling Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh. Secondly, the IMF team also required the government to withdraw substantial portion of subsidies on the power sector as agreed upon with the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank by next week. The IMF team noted that the government every time committed to take required measures but eventually failed to do so, quoted the sources. During the talks over revision in the budgetary estimates in the backdrop of recent unprecedented floods, the government and the IMF remained at loggerheads. The government told the IMF team that the Federal Board of Revenue target for the current financial year should not be more than Rs1600 billion instead of Rs1680 billion as per the original budget estimates. On the other hand the IMF team assessed impact of the floods not more than Rs30 billion therefore the target should be Rs1650 billion it required. The government vowed to fill this Rs50 billion gap through additional tax measures including the so-called flood tax. The IMF again told the government to do the needful in this regard till the next round of the talks on November 13, if it really believes it could do so, the sources said. The bottom line was that the IMF team remained adamant on two key conditions to the release of the remaining funds under the SBA namely the RGST legislation and power sector revamping, the sources added Meanwhile, a Finance Ministry Press Release claimed that IMF-government discussions on the fifth review of the economy under the Standby Arrangement have made progress. Progress has been made in agreeing to a framework for revisions of the 2010/11 budget, reflecting the additional burdens faced by the economy and the poor due to the unprecedented floods. The objective remains to further strengthen the public finances and macroeconomic stabilization so that priority spending can be assured and inflationary pressures kept under check and reduced. The government also proposes to finalise in the coming days the legislative framework for the Reformed General Sales Tax (RGST), for submission to Parliament. Measures to curtail energy subsidies have been discussed with the World Bank and ADB and with the key stakeholders. The Government of Pakistan proposes to meet with Mazarei and his team on November 13, and to continue the constructive discussions following the PDF, it added.