Talks between Pakistan and IMF on 9th review start in Islamabad

Talks between Pakistan and IMF on 9th review start in Islamabad

Islamabad (Web Desk): Talks between Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday started in Islamabad to strike a staff-level agreement on the ninth review under the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

The IMF’s review mission had arrived in Islamabad on Monday and both sides are holding the toughest ever parleys for making renewed efforts to accomplish the pending ninth review under the $7 billion EFF.

Pakistan and the IMF will hold technical-level talks from Tuesday to Friday and then the policy-level talks will commence finalising the Memorandum of Financial and Economic Policies (MEFP) document.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar received the IMF mission Chief Nathen Porter upon his arrived at the Finance Ministry.

The discussion will revolve around Pakistan’s plan for taking additional taxation measures to fetch over Rs200 billion through a presidential ordinance, rationalising expenditure, and hiking both electricity and gas tariffs for erasing the monster of the circular debt.

The Washington-based lender is suggesting the toughest prescriptions on all fronts of the economy at a time when the foreign exchange reserves are persistently on the decline and touched the lowest ebb of $3.6 billion.

The IMF is asking the government to fill the yawning gap of Rs600 billion on the fiscal front through additional taxation measures or cutting down on expenditures in order to restrict the budget deficit and primary deficit within the desired limits.

The IMF further demanded an increase in electricity tariff within the range of Rs12.50/unit as Islamabad seemed to agree to hike the electricity tariff of Rs7.50/unit in a staggered manner.