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ISLAMABAD: The prime minister has exempted all officers dealing with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) from the meetings at the Prime Minister Office (PMO) on recommendations of Secretary Finance, Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh. This was conveyed by Dr Syed Tauqir Shah, Principal Secretary to Prime Minister, after seeking approval from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

An IMF delegation arrived in Pakistan on January 31 and is scheduled to remain in the country till February 6, 2023. As per practice, the delegation is holding scheduled and unscheduled meetings with all concerned stakeholders from Government of Pakistan to collect information, review and discuss progress on the conditionalities of the ongoing IMF’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme.

Crucial IMF talks begin today

Secretary Finance, in his letter to the prime minister, stated that during the period, senior officers of Finance Division and the designated interlocutors of relevant ministries/ divisions and other entities must remain available for negotiations to successfully conclude the Review Mission.

Foregoing in view, following requests were submitted to the Prime Minister: (i) the ministerial representatives engaged in the Review may be exempted from all meetings convened by the Prime Minister Office (PMO) or other executive branches to ensure their complete focus and availability to reach Staff Level Agreement (SLA) and finalize Memorandum of Economic and Finance Policies (MEFP); and (ii) the designated interlocutors must remain available in Islamabad until the departure of the IMF Review Mission. If on any account outstation visit is required, approval of the Minister for Finance and Revenue shall be solicited in advance.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Aqeel Feb 02, 2023 08:24am
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