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EFF's 9th Review: IMF agrees on relief for poor under BISP

EFF's 9th Review: IMF agrees on relief for poor under BISP


9th Review: IMF, Pakistan hold fresh round of talks in Islamabad

ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) - In a bit relief measure, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Tuesday agreed to Pakistan s request of providing relief to the poor segment of society through the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

The global lender, however, insisted on “strict adherence” to financial discipline.

The first round of talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was held in the federal capital on Tuesday to strike a staff-level agreement on the ninth review under the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Finance and Revenue Minister Ishaq Dar received the IMF mission chief Nathen Porter at the ministry of finance. Dar held a meeting with IMF review mission and discussed and reviewed the economic and fiscal policies and reforms of the govt and agenda to accomplish the 9th review under the EFF.

The Finance Minister briefed the Mission on fiscal and economic reforms and measures being taken by the government in different sectors including bridging the fiscal gap, exchange rate stability and in energy sector for the betterment of the economy.

He said reforms are being introduced in power sector and a high level committee has been formed for devising modalities to offset the menace of circular debt in gas sector.

Expressing the government s resolve to complete the current IMF program, Ishaq Dar said Pakistan is committed to work with IMF for reaching an agreement to complete the 9th review under Extended Fund Facility.

On the occasion, the IMF Mission chief expressed the confidence that Pakistan would meet the IMF requirements for the completion of 9th review.

He hoped that Pakistan would continue towards its progress on reforms in various sectors and will complete the IMF Program effectively and in time.

He added that IMF and Pakistan will be working together on fiscal reforms.

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

Technical-level talks between Pakistan s economic team and the IMF will begin at a private hotel. The both sides will discuss in detail the so far economic targets achieved by Pakistan.

Sources told Dunya News that the international financial institution had already pressed Pakistan to strictly implement on the monteary and fiscal discipline. They said the both sides didn t oppose the continuation of subsidies for the poor and agreed on extending relief under the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).

Also Read: Govt to impose Rs200bn taxes to comply with IMF conditions

The IFI announced on January 26 that their mission would travel to Pakistan from January 31 to February 9 after talks between Islamabad and the international lenderw ere scheduled. The IMF mission was requested to visit Pakistan by the Ministry of Finance.

In order to continue discussions regarding the country s ninth review under its $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme.

The review, which would release $1.18 billion in funding, has been delayed for two months due to disagreements between the government and the IMF over certain conditions.

IMF Resident Representative for Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz in a statement had said that the mission will focus on policies to improve Pakistan s domestic and external sustainability, including measures to strengthen the fiscal position, revive the power sector, and stabilise the foreign exchange market.

She also emphasized the importance of stronger policy efforts and reforms in order to reduce uncertainty and support Pakistan s sustainable development.

On Wednesday, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mohammad Ishaq Dar apprised the United States’ delegation on the economic priorities of the government to fix the economy towards the right path while fulfilling its international obligations.

Mr. Robert Kaproth, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury for Asia called on the said minister at Finance Division, said a press release, issued here.

Senior Macro-economist for the Department of Treasury for Pakistan Ms. Eva Ghirmai, Financial attache’ Ms. Larita Bolden, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghous Pasha, SAPM on Finance Mr. Tariq Bajwa, Secretary Finance and senior officers from Finance Division attended the meeting.

Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar welcomed Mr Robert Kaproth and apprised the former on the economic outlook of the country.

He apprised the present government inherited a weak economic legacy and said that despite challenging economic conditions, the government was focusing on fixing things in the right direction and introducing reforms in all sectors including the energy sector and capital market to achieve economic growth and development.

He said that due to pragmatic measures taken by the government, the country was destined for progress and development.

The finance minister also shared with Mr. Robert Kaproth the damages caused by the floods in Pakistan and their impact on the economy of Pakistan.

He stressed that the government was handling all challenges with complete commitment. Meanwhile, Mr. Robert Kaproth underscored good relations between Pakistan and the United States. He further expressed confidence in the policies and programs of the government for economic and financial stability.

He further extended his support and cooperation on economic and financial issues. The finance minister extended gratitude to Mr. Robert Kaproth for their support and cooperation.