Pakistan had reached a consensus with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on all issues to finalize the bailout package, according to Finance Minister Asad Umar.
Briefing the National Assembly’s Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs, which met with Faizullah Kamoka in the chair, the Minister said that during his recent visit to Washington, both the sides agreed in principle on the bailout package, which would be between $6 to 8 billion.
A mission of International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Pakistan by the end of April to continue discussions with the country to finalize a bailout programme, said an IMF statement.
The statement said that Pakistani authorities and IMF staff held constructive discussions during the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings in Washington DC towards an IMF-supported program.
“At the request of the authorities, an IMF mission will be going to Pakistan before the end of April to continue the discussions”, the statement added.
No Increase in Gas/Electricity Prices
Asad Umar said that the government has no plan to increase electricity and gas prices in coming days.
The IMF has not given any guidelines or made demands regarding electricity and gas tariffs.
He said, “We will share full details of IMF negotiations with the committee and seek its guidelines and proposals.”
He proposed that a sub-committee be formed in this regard.
Later, talking to media personnel, the finance minister said the IMF delegation would visit Pakistan in the last week of April. With the IMF package, he said, Pakistan would be in a position to seek more financial assistance from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank and big investors in the United States.
He said besides having talks with the IMF in Washington, he held meetings with US investors as well.
Asad Umar said the IMF bailout package would stabilize the foreign reserves and enhance the confidence of international financial institutions in Pakistan. The economy would stabilize and the country would move towards sustainable economic growth.
He said currently the country is facing the worst balance of payment crisis in its history, which was because of the bad economic policies of the previous government.
Meeting With FATF
To a question, the minister said he met Financial Action Task Force (FATF) President Marshall Billingslea during his US visit, who assured him that any decision regarding Pakistan would be taken on technical grounds.
He said a draft detailing the implementation of the FATF’s recommendations by the Pakistan government would be sent today while FATF’s delegation would visit Pakistan in the third week of May to review the implementation efforts.
Asad Umar said he had a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan and briefed him on the IMF bailout package talks.
Meanwhile, briefing the committee, Minister of State for Revenue, Hammad Azher, said the government’s priority was to broaden the tax net for increasing its revenue.
Members of the National Assembly Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Dr. Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and Ali Pervaiz, besides a representative of Pakistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and finance ministry officials, attended the meeting.