Pakistan to resume talks tomorrow to work out IMF deal

Pakistan to resume talks tomorrow to work out IMF deal


The virtual talks are going on to fetch another tranche of EFF

LAHORE (Web Desk) - The Shehbaz-led government is likely to resume virtual talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday to sort out upcoming expenditures and revenues and the stalled agreement for the release of fresh tranche under the ninth review of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). 

Led by its Pakistan mission chief Nathan Porter, the IMF team held talks with finance ministry officials for a couple of days, followed by a last meeting with tax officials on Friday to review the impact of prior actions in terms of revenue generation and their impact on bridging fiscal gaps.

Both sides will also review the draft Memorandum of Economic and Fiscal Policies (MEFP) -- generally called the staff-level agreement (SLA). 

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been tasked with collecting an additional Rs170bn in revenue to fill the gap, while the remaining amount will be abridged through other measures, such as removing subsidies and increasing gas and electricity prices.

-- Dar rules out default, hints at IMF agreement next week --

On March 2, Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar had said Pakistan’s negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) were about to conclude and Staff Level Agreement with the fund is expected next week.

In a tweet, the finance minister said some Anti-Pakistan elements were spreading malicious rumours that Pakistan may default.

He said, these rumours were not only completely false but also belie the facts.

The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange reserves have been increasing and are almost US $ 1 billion higher than four weeks ago despite making all external due payments on time, he added.

The finance minister said, the foreign commercial banks have started extending facilities to Pakistan.