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ISLAMABAD: The ongoing talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) under seventh review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme would remain pending till the formation of new government.

This was stated by Esther Perez Ruiz Resident Representative in response to a question of Business Recorder on Monday. She said that “Fund looks to continue its support to Pakistan and, once a new government is formed, we will engage on policies to promote macroeconomic stability, and enquire about intentions vis-a-vis program engagement”.

There is no concept of suspension within IMF programmes, she added.

When contacted, sources in the finance ministry informed Business Recorder that the caretaker Finance Minister is likely to resume discussions with the IMF and may reach an agreement on the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) with the Fund under seventh review of EFF programme.

7th review of EFF: IMF says will enquire over programme engagement with new govt

Sources further stated that it would be easier for the caretaker finance minister to undo the prime minister’s relief package on petrol and electricity with the objective of complying with IMF conditions because “this is an ongoing programme and not new one”.

Sources said that Secretary Principal Accounting Officers (PAOs), secretaries of the ministries would be managing the affairs of their respective ministries after the dissolution of the federal cabinet.

An official of finance ministry confirmed that former finance minister Shaukat Tarin did not turn up in finance ministry since the dissolution of the cabinet and finance secretary (PAO) is managing the affairs of the ministry.

When asked about continuation of policy level talks with the IMF, he expressed his ignorance in this regard and stated that there was no such engagement in the finance ministry on Monday.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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