Dar meets IMF review mission, apprises it of planned power sector reforms
- Finance Division says IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter has expressed confidence government will meet requirements for completion of 9th review
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mohammad Ishaq Dar on Tuesday told the International Monetary Fund (IMF) review mission that reforms are being introduced in the power sector and a high-level committee has been formed for devising modalities to offset growing circular debt in the gas sector.
The development comes after the federal minister met with the IMF delegation led by Mission Chief Nathan Porter, who arrived in Islamabad today, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Finance.
Esther Perez Ruiz, IMF resident representative, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, SAPM on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha, Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Jameel Ahmad, Secretary Finance, Chairman FBR, members of IMF delegation and senior officers from Finance Division attended the meeting.
The meeting discussed economic and fiscal policies and reforms agenda to accomplish the 9th review under the Extended Fund Facility.
As per the statement released by the Ministry of Finance, the federal minister briefed the IMF mission on fiscal and economic reforms and measures being taken by the government in different sectors including bridging the fiscal gap, exchange rate stability and in the energy sector for the betterment of the economy.
Dar extended his gratitude to the Managing Director of IMF on the continuation of talks and shared that as finance minister he had successfully completed the IMF programme in the past and that the government was committed to completing the present programme.
He extended all his support to the Mission and committed to working together for reaching an agreement to complete the 9th review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
Porter expressed his confidence that the government will meet the IMF requirements for the completion of the 9th review and hoped that Pakistan would continue towards its progress on the reforms in various sectors and complete the IMF programme within time.
He added that IMF and Pakistan will be working together on fiscal reforms.
Experts have termed the resumption of the stalled IMF programme crucial for the cash-strapped economy, which has seen its foreign exchange reserves fall significantly in recent months.
Earlier, a senior official of the Finance Ministry on condition of anonymity told Business Recorder that there is no other option but to implement the conditions agreed with the IMF and implement structural reforms in the power sector. Moreover, they said the government has to increase electricity and gas prices and will have to impose taxes as the gap between revenue and expenditure has been increasing.