Pakistan and IMF to Resume Talks Today

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund’s review of Pakistan’s performance under the latter’s $6 billion program will resume today, according to the spokesperson for the Ministry of Finance.

“There is no truth in the news of the failure of talks with the IMF. The talks will resume on Monday uninterrupted from where they were on Friday,” the spokesperson clarified in a press release.

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Media reports from over the weekend suggested that the talks had broken down due to disagreements on key issues.

The spokesperson said that Minister for Finance, Shaukat Tarin, and his team are still in Washington, DC, and have meetings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) scheduled throughout the week.

“Negotiations between Pakistan and IMF are moving forward positively,” the press release read.

It also detailed that the “Secretary Finance Division is leading the talks in Washington DC while the technical teams from both sides are continuing detailed discussions in virtual format after [an] exchange of relevant data sets”.

Additionally, “no timeframe was set at any stage for [the] conclusion of the talks,” and the spokesperson said that discussions with the IMF will continue until ‘success’ is achieved.

Pakistan and the IMF had in-person discussions in virtual meetings in Washington, DC last week and had conducted virtual meetings in the week before as well. The talks revolve around reviewing Pakistan’s performance under the IMF’s $6 billion program. If talks conclude amicably, the IMF will grant the country another loan of $1 billion.

The IMF asked the government during these meetings to raise its revenue collection target for the current fiscal year from $5.8 trillion to $6.3 trillion. It also advised the latter to raise the personal income tax for higher income brackets, and elevate the base electricity and gas tariff and discount rates.