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Targeted assistance: IMF appears ready to take the long view

  • Talks on 9th review of International Monetary Fund Enhanced Fund Facility further delayed
Published November 18, 2022
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ISLAMABAD: Talks on 9th review of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Enhanced Fund Facility (EFF) have been further delayed as the Fund linked the arrival of its mission to Islamabad with the finalisation of macroeconomic framework with necessary adjustments.

An official, on condition of anonymity, said that the date has not yet been finalised as the Fund wants to first finalise the macroeconomic framework and then it would send the mission to Pakistan.

Pakistan’s perceived default risk worsens 'owing to IMF uncertainty'

He added that it was a general meeting outlining broadly, requirements for the 9th review. According to the Finance Ministry, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar held an online meeting with Nathan Porter, IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan on Thursday and the two sides discussed the progress made with the ongoing IMF programme, particularly the impact of floods on macroeconomic framework and targets for the current year.

The Finance Ministry maintained that the IMF indicated its willingness to sympathetically view the targeted assistance for poor and vulnerable, especially flood victims. It was agreed that expenditure estimates for flood-related humanitarian assistance during the current year will be firmed up along with estimates of priority rehabilitation expenditure.

In this regard, engagement at the technical level will be expeditiously concluded for proceeding with the 9th Review. The finance minister reiterated the government’s commitment to successfully completing the IMF programme.

However, Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha informed the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Finance that it is important for the country to remain in the IMF programme and make more structural adjustments.

A senior government official said that on a regular basis data was being shared with the Fund and acknowledged that although first quarter performance of revenues collection was on target but there was slippage on account of expenditure. He said that Pakistan is expecting IMF mission in Islamabad in the last week of November but the date has not yet been finalised.

The official said that overall macroeconomic framework in terms of going forward had been adversely impacted by floods and conceded that achieving agreed revenue with the Fund would be a challenge for the fiscal year.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2022

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