ISLAMABAD: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Monday congratulated Prime Minister Nawaz on the successful completion of the IMF programme.

The IMF chief, who is on her first visit to Pakistan, said she was very pleased to be here, said a PM Office statement issued here.

“It is a fantastic step in your journey that you have achieved a better and solid economic position in a brief period of two years,” Lagarde told the prime minister.

The IMF chief lauded the Prime Minister Nawaz for steering the country out of multiple challenges and achieving macroeconomic stability in a short period of time.

“Pakistan is now in a better fiscal position and certainly out of economic crisis,” she said.

In his remarks, Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif appreciated IMF’s assistance for Pakistan’s economic recovery and macroeconomic stability, saying the government had achieved economic stability by pursuing a comprehensive reforms agenda.

He said the tireless efforts of the government’s economic team had turned around the Pakistani economy in a short span of three years.

“We are successfully delivering on the major challenges of terrorism, economy and power shortages that we inherited from the previous governments,” said Nawaz Sharif.

“We have dismantled the terrorists’ networks and have deployed 200,000 troops in the northern part of our country to completely eliminate the menace of terrorism from our country.”

The prime minister said his government’s ongoing endeavours included addressing energy shortfall at the earliest and improving the country’s infrastructure and communication networks.

“We want to further reduce our expenditures, increase our exports and lower down the cost of production for our industrial and agriculture sectors.”

Nawaz Sharif said his government was setting up power projects in hydel, coal, LNG and would be able to eliminate the power shortages from the country by the year 2018.

He said there was no load-shedding for the industrial sector and the focus is on producing cheaper and affordable electricity.