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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistani authorities remain closely engaged with a view to bringing the second review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) to a positive conclusion with ongoing discussions being virtual. This was stated by IMF Resident Representative, Teresa Dabán Sanchez, while responding to Business Recorder queries. The government's proposed budget proposals for the next fiscal year regarding revenue target and expenditures are identical to a great extent to projections given in the document uploaded on the IMF's website titled 'Request for purchase under the rapid financing instrument (RFI).'

The proposed target for the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) for next fiscal year is reportedly Rs 5.1 billion which is the same given in the IMF projection. Further, total expenditure given at Rs 10.3 trillion in the IMF's document is identical to the proposal of Ministry of Finance. When Business Recorder posted this question to the IMF official, she replied, "As per Fund's policy our communication focuses only on outcomes." She further stated that "for the time being, the only thing I could share is that discussions are taking place, as specified in my quote above. The discussions are guided by the authorities' renewed commitment to implement the policies and reforms in the existing EFF, which will help support the recovery and strengthen Pakistani economy's resilience."

Copyright Business Recorder, 2020

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