IMF shares initial assessment with Umar
ISLAMABAD – Finance Minister Asad Umar on Tuesday said Pakistan looked forward to receiving International Monetary Fund (IMF) support for the government’s efforts aimed at achieving an economic turnaround.
The finance minister held a meeting with the visiting IMF mission led by Mr Harald Finger here Tuesday. The Mission leader shared his initial assessment with the finance minister on various sectors of the economy, following the delegation’s interaction with officials of relevant ministries and entities.
Umar shared with the delegation, PTI government’s vision on economy. He referred to the corrective measures being taken to remove imbalances in the economy and said that the new government had come to power with an agenda of wide-ranging reforms. He said that the government has a strong resolve for implementing deep structural and institutional reforms.
It is committed to safeguarding the poor and vulnerable segments of the society and shall invest more in social protection, human development and creating employment opportunities, the minister said and added along with structural and governance reforms, revival of domestic industry and export sector are high priorities of the government.
The policy level talks between Pakistan and IMF continued on the second consecutive day on Tuesday. The Mission will continue its discussions with the relevant authorities during the next several days. Talks would continue till November 20.
An official informed that the finance minister has shared the government’s plan of building the foreign exchange reserves of the country. He briefed the delegation about Saudi Arabian package, which would ease pressure on the reserves. Meanwhile, Pakistan is also negotiating with China and UAE for economic assistance, the Fund was told.
Umar also informed the delegation about government’s plan to broaden the tax base and revenue collection of the country. Similarly, the finance minister briefed the Fund about the privatisation plan of the incumbent government.
Sources informed The Nation that Federal Board of Revenue has held talks with the visiting IMF delegation before they met with the finance minister. The FBR has given a detailed briefing to the IMF on the second day, as it already met with the Fund on Monday.
The ministry of power has also given briefing on the power sector circular debt. The officials informed the delegation that the government is working to reduce the circular debt of the country. The Fund has directed to improve the power sector revenue collection in order to reduce the circular debt.
The Fund was briefed by the Financial Monitoring Unit (FMU) of State Bank of Pakistan on the measures taken for controlling money laundering. The government is working to amend the laws to control the money laundering, the delegation was told.