ISLAMABAD     -    The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday said that government is moving in right direction as it reduced the fiscal deficit and also the volatility in the exchange rate in last few months.

The IMF has appreciated the positive results being produced by the policies and strategies put in place by the government to remove imbalances in the economy.

“The volatility in the exchange rate had been reduced while successes have also been achieved in other areas, especially on the fiscal front, which indicated the government was moving in the right direction,” the ministry of finance quoted the IMF Mission chief Ramirez Rigo Ernesto.

He said the IMF Mission was looking forward to have a meaningful and productive review by aiming at a forward-looking approach with focus on the adjustments required till March, especially in the power sector and funding from various bilateral and multilateral sources for boosting Pakistan foreign exchange.

The IMF team on second day of its visit has met with Dr. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue to discuss the economic situation of the country especially in the first quarter (July to September) of current fiscal year.

Governor, State Bank of Pakistan, Reza Baqir, Secretary Finance Naveed Kamran Baloch, Chairman FBR Shabbar Zaidi, Special Secretary Finance Omar Hamid Khan and other senior officials of the Finance Division and the local IMF officials were also present.

The IMF team arrived in Pakistan on Monday for first quarterly review of Islamabad’s performance under its $6b Extended Fund Facility (EFF). The IMF in July this year had approved a three-year, $6 billion loan to support Pakistan’s economic plan.

Pakistan had already received an upfront disbursement of $991 million on completion of all prior actions committed by Pakistan before signing the fund programme.

The IMF had linked the remaining tranches with the economic performance in each quarter. Shaikh informed the delegation that the incumbent government is focusing on implementation of the IMF programme.

“The containment of current and fiscal deficits and stabilisation of exchange rate are indicative of the success of government efforts to put the economy on the long-term growth track,” he said while talking to the IMF Mission team.

Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told the visiting Mission delegation that Pakistan enjoyed a very cordial relationship with the IMF and it had been further strengthened during his recent visit to Washington where productive meetings culminating in fruitful discussions were held with the senior IMF management.

He said Pakistan valued the IMF support and financial assistance and the Prime Minister was personally overseeing and monitoring the progress achieved in various sectors of the economy.