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Print Print 2020-04-05

Construction package: IMF links it to certain conditions

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has linked the government package for construction industry with "stringent" conditions of timelines, nature and goals, aimed at providing support to the most vulnerable segments of the population, suffered due to COV
Published 05 Apr, 2020 12:00am

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has linked the government package for construction industry with "stringent" conditions of timelines, nature and goals, aimed at providing support to the most vulnerable segments of the population, suffered due to COVID-19 crisis.
This was confirmed by Teresa Dabán Sanchez, IMF Resident Representative in Pakistan and government officials while talking to Business Recorder.
Prime Minister Imran Khan Friday announced an incentives package comprising tax exemptions and subsidies of Rs 30 billion for the construction industry in order to increase employment opportunities in the country in the wake of coronavirus outbreak.
Replying to Business Recorder query, the IMF official said that the Fund is providing advice to member countries in these difficult times. "Our advice is that whatever policy action the government implements has to be targeted, temporary and focused on providing support to the most vulnerable segments of the population," said Sanchez.
She said, "The COVID-19 crisis is posing sizeable challenges to the world economy and to Pakistan. In Pakistan one of the challenges is a large negative impact on daily wage workers and the government is very concerned about it. I think this is background besides this package.
"Our advice to Pakistan, as well as to other member countries, has been that whatever policy action the government implement has to be targeted, temporary and focused on providing support to the most vulnerable segments of the population", said Teresa Dabán Sanchez.
Federal Minister for Planning and Development Asad Umar told Business Recorder that the package for construction industry was approved after consultations with the IMF.
"Yes, Prime Minister Imran Khan contacted Managing Director IMF and took on board on the package for construction industry," said Umar, adding that the package came after consultation with the Fund as Pakistan is in the programme.
When he was asked for comments on the package approval by the IMF without IMF Executive Board approval Umar replied, "it is their problem how to deal with their Board and not ours."
Government officials said that coronavirus has created extraordinary situations globally where the IMF has taken extraordinary measures. The relaxation in the IMF programme targets is not specific but for all member countries which are currently on the Fund programme, the official added.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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