THE country's third tranche from the IMF is going to be delayed because Pakistan operates on a July-June financial year. Because of this, Pakistan will have its Budget presented in June. As a matter of fact, this year, the date for the 2009-10 Budget is supposed to be June 13. Because of this, that will be the date, more or less, when Pakistan will give to the IMF certain data, which it needs before releasing the next tranche under its programme, in which it has already released tranches of $850 million and $ 3.1 billion by November 2008. The data relates to taxation measures, which have yet to be agreed by the Cabinet, and this has meant that the government was unable to manage the deadline for the monthly IMF approval meeting in May, and must now await the June meeting to go forward and receive the third tranche of $850 million. Even if it was not beyond its capacity, the local IMF office should not be blamed for the failure to coordinate. That was the responsibility of the Pakistan Finance Ministry, as the party which was interested in getting the loan in the first place. It should not have been too difficult for someone to have noticed that the next IMF tranche was to be issued around the same time as the Budget, and thus the programme had to accommodate this. While this might seem a minor issue for the Finance Ministry to have to deal with while in the throes of preparing the Budget, the IMF tranche is supposed to be central to maintaining Pakistan's credit. Thus it should have been considered important enough not to be placed on the backburner as was done. The Cabinet, which perpetrated this particular crisis, by not approving the taxation measures when they were presented, should have been made aware of the consequences of what it was doing. The decision to turn to the IMF was a hard one to take, and was based on an ability to present an image of competence. The inability to keep dates distinct, particularly of budgets and meetings, shows that the government lacks even that basic ability.