- Minister for Finance Miftah Ismail holds virtual meeting with IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter
ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has reaffirmed the government’s commitment to undertake the reforms envisaged under the programme and to complete the structural benchmarks as talks on the 7th Review of Extended Fund Facility (EFF) started at Doha on Wednesday.
The Finance Ministry said in a statement that the Minister for Finance, Miftah Ismail, has held a virtual meeting with the IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter, who shared with the finance minister the Fund’s assessment of the challenges facing the Pakistan economy and sensitized him that it demanded both immediate and long-term measures.
The first batch of the senior officials of the Finance Division, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), and the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has already reached Doha for the 7th Review Mission while the finance minister and the minister of state will be joining them early next week to conclude the discussion with the expectation to reach an agreement for the IMF’s continued support until the successful completion of the program.
The finance minister stated that the government understands the current economic woes and agreed that it will have to take tough decisions while mitigating the effects of inflation on the middle to low-income groups.
He emphasized few of the factors that have adversely affected the economic situation were beyond the control of the government. These included exogenous factors like supply shocks, commodity super cycle and Russia-Ukraine conflict due to which commodity prices further soared. These factors were putting pressure on Current Account as well as foreign exchange reserves.
The minister stated that the government would take measures to reduce the burden on the economy while protecting the vulnerable sections of the population.
The minister further stated that we should aim at addressing structural issues so that Pakistan is able to end its fiscal deficit and move towards sustainable growth. The Finance Minister thanked the IMF Mission Chief for IMF’s support at a difficult time for the global economy. Both sides showed keen interest to complete the review successfully.
The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, Secretary Finance, Governor SBP, and Chairman FBR, the Finance Ministry added.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2022