ISLAMABAD - The ongoing talks between Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) were reportedly deferred on Monday due to the long march of Tehrik-e-Minhajul Quran (TMQ) chief Dr Tahirul Qadri.

Pakistan and IMF are holding technical level talks in Islamabad under Post Programme Monitoring from January 8, as the Fund mission is reviewing Islamabad’s capacity to repay the loans. However, sources said that talks, scheduled on Monday, were postponed due to the TMQ’s long march in federal capital.

Sources were of the view that talks might begin from today (Tuesday) but it depends on security situation of the city. Sources said that Pakistan-IMF talks would continue this week. The ministry of water and power and IMF were scheduled to discuss the power issues of Pakistan on Monday. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has sought detail report from ministry of water and power on reform measures to control the line losses and recovery of dues in last one year on Monday, as the Fund was not satisfied with the earlier briefing of the ministry, sources added.

Sources aware of the development informed that IMF has shown unhappiness with the performance of power sector, as entire subsidy allocated to the power sector has been consumed in the first half (July-December) of the ongoing financial year 2012-2013 year and progress in terms of recovery was very dismal and total outstanding recoveries had ballooned to Rs430 billion. Sources said that IMF noted that country’s budget deficit would go beyond the target of 4.7 per cent of the GDP during the ongoing financial year 2012-2013 if current pace of releasing subsidy continue for the power sector in remaining six months (January-June) of the year 2012-2013.

It might be mentioned here that IMF is reviewing capacity of loan approved under Stand-By-Arrangement (SBA) in 2008. Pakistan entered into a $7.6 billion IMF bailout package in 2008, which was increased to $11.3 billion but the country was not eligible for the last two disbursements of $3.4 billion due to failure to comply with the performance criteria. The government failed to bring reforms in General Sales Tax (GST) and power sector, which became the reason in suspending programme.