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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said on Tuesday that a team of the Finance Division has gone to Doha (on Tuesday) to hold consultations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Mission.

The finance minister tweeted that the “Finance Division team is leaving for consultations with the IMF Mission at Doha from tonight (Tuesday). Meetings will start from tomorrow (Wednesday)”.

An official said that the Pakistani team will hold technical and policy-level talks with the IMF staff mission till May 25, 2022, for the revival of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme. The secretary of finance, the additional secretary of finance as well as the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) chairman would leave for Doha and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail would join the Pakistani team later on.

IMF to initiate staff mission with Pakistan in Doha on 18th

There are speculations that the Minister of State for Finance and the acting governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) might also be leaving tonight (Tuesday) for Doha; however, it was not yet confirmed.

The IMF, in a statement subsequent to a meeting with the finance minister in Washington, stated that we agreed that prompt action is needed to reverse the unfunded subsidies which have slowed discussions for the 7th review. However, the finance minister announced on May 15, 2022, that the government has decided not to increase the petroleum prices – the subsidy on diesel and petrol announced by the previous government.

When asked an official about the reason for holding talks in Doha, he did not have any satisfactory answer except that the former prime minister may be the reason for this.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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