Pak-IMF talks move ahead
ISLAMABAD—The ongoing talks between Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the 11th review of extended funds facility (EFF) are progressing forward positively in Dubai.
The current review, it may be added is the second last of a total of 12 reviews under the 36-month programme, supported by an EFF arrangement approved in 2013.
With the successful conduct of this review, Pakistan will be in a position to ensure the international financial institutions about the improvement in economic profile which will definitely pave way for flux of international investment in the country.
Talks began on May 02 and scheduled to be concluded on Wednesday; however, now it will come to conclusion today (Thursday) evening. Finance Secretary Dr. Waqar Masood had been heading Pakistani delegation in both the technical and policy level talks.
The Governor State Bank (SBP) and Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) along with teams of their respective institutions had also been actively participating in all the rounds of the talks.
However, according to Finance Ministry, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Wednesday, joined Pakistan delegation for talks with the IMF team for the 11th review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
Finance Minister led the Pakistan delegation five successful rounds of talks by Wednesday evening with talks progressing positively.
On the other hand a well placed official source told Pakistan Observer here that after ten days hectic rounds of negotiations, it was quite clear that Pakistan would successfully conclude the ongoing negotiations for 11th review.
It is just because of the fact that Pakistan’s economic profile has improved significantly as well as Pakistani negotiators have presented a fact based presentations in before the IMF team. Almost all the economic indicators are positive and international rating agencies are portraying Pakistan’s economic progress in a positive manner .
Enhanced volume of foreign exchange reserves, confidence reposed by international investment organizations in economic positive economic indicators as well as keen interests shown by Chinese and other countries’ investors in recent investment conferences are supportive tools for Pakistani team.
The source said that major focus of the government in current round of talks with IMF was on finalization of federal and provincial budgets for the fiscal year 2016-17. In this regard, Finance Ministry had shared budget strategy paper for 2016-17 with the IMF.
The Finance Ministry is at ease with most of the benchmarks and performance indicators, except for the setback to the privatisation agenda that has been a major concern for the IMF. The govt also needs to collect Rs 760bn revenue in the final two months of the fiscal year 2015-16 to achieve the revenue collection target.
An Extended Fund Facility with IMF provides assistance in support of comprehensive programs that include policies of the scope and character required to correct structural imbalances over an extended period. It has a comparatively longer repayment period of 4½–10 years, with repayments in twelve equal semi-annual instalments.
Pakistan entered into an extended fund facility (EFF) program with IMF on September 4, 2013. It is a 36-month extended arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for $6.64 billion, 425 percent of quota). First tranche $544.5 million, 34.8 percent of quota) became available on September 6, 2013, and the remainder would be evenly phased thereafter subject to quarterly reviews.