ISLAMABAD: Resident Representative, International Monitory Fund (IMF), Pakistan Office, Ms Maria Teresa Daban Sanchez on Monday said $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program for Pakistan intend to support the economic reform program and sustainable economic growth of the country.
The goals of the IMF package in the medium term is debt sustainability, stronger tax collection, an independent central bank, market determined exchange rates regime, and moderate inflation trajectory, Ms Maria Teresa said this while addressing to the round table as guest speaker, organized by ‘Senior Journalist Forum ‘in National Press Club (NPC) Islamabad.
The round table was conveyed by Senior Journalist and former editor Daily Dawn M. Zia-uddin.
“We wanted more autonomy for the central bank, strengthening tax policy administration, reforming the energy sector, modernizing the state owned enterprises and strengthening anti-corruption institution”, she added.
The program focuses on decisive fiscal consolidation to reduce public debt and build resilience while expanding social spending, she said.
She said a revenue-based fiscal consolidation, focused on removing exemptions and privileges as greater coordination with provinces would be better for local economy.
She said the program would help Pakistan reduce economic vulnerabilities and generate sustainable and balanced growth.
Resident Representative, IMF said the program was expected to unlock broader support from multilateral and bilateral creditors in excess of US$38billion, which was crucial for Pakistan to meet its large financing needs in the coming years.
Maria Teresa said the letter of intent of the current government to IMF focused on expanding social safety nets to cushion the impact of the needed stabilization policies on the poor, which was a positive step.
However, the government needed to strengthen its social protection program and should focus on direct taxation to help reduce burden on the vulnerable segment of the society, she said.
She said the IMF-supported program to any country would be implemented and always reviewed.
She added that quarterly reviews of Pakistan current EFF program, first one would before end December, if successful, they would be followed by disbursements.