Pak-IMF talks start in Qatar from tomorrow
ISLAMABAD – Talks between Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) would start from tomorrow in Doha, Qatar, to further discuss the 7th review under the Extended Fund Facility. “We remain continuously engaged with the authorities on policies to promote macroeconomic stability in Pakistan. An International Monetary Fund team will start a staff mission on May 18 with the Pakistani authorities in Doha,” IMF’s Resident Representative for Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz said when contacted by The Nation on Monday. Meanwhile, an official of the Ministry of Finance informed that talks are expected to continue for at least one week. The government would try to convince the Fund on the subsidy given on petroleum products and electricity. The coalition government is not increasing petroleum products and electricity prices despite massive increase in oil prices in international market. Earlier in March this year, the talks between IMF and Pakistan remained inconclusive as the Fund objected over the Prime Minister’s Relief Package for slashing down petrol, diesel, and electricity prices as well as granting tax amnesty for the industrial sector. The IMF had slapped the condition that Pakistan will not grant any tax amnesty and it is part of a continuous structural benchmark. However, previous government had breached the benchmark. The incumbent government is also following the previous government’s policy of not increasing petrol, diesel and electricity prices. The official further said that ministry of finance had strongly recommended the government to increase the oil prices from yesterday keeping in view the revival of IMF’s loan programme.