Pak-IMF Talks Resume in Doha

Pakistan’s crucial talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have recommenced in Doha which upon successful conclusion will lead to transferring of $1 billion tranche. With the resumption of talks stalled Extended Fund Facility (EFF) has been reinstated.

The key points of the talks are reducing the subsidy and enhancing the tax base in the overall budgetary framework prepared by the government for the next fiscal year.

The Pakistani delegation, led by Secretary Finance, Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, has arrived in Doha, Qatar. Minister of State, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha; Acting Governor State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), Dr. Murtaza Syed; Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Asim Ahmad; and other officials from the Finance Division are participating in the talks.

Technical level talks will continue until 24 May and the Minister for Finance, Dr. Miftah Ismail, will join the delegation to finalize the deal with the IMF.

“The team will be in Doha during May 18-25 as part of ongoing discussions with the Pakistani authorities on economic developments and policies to promote macroeconomic stability,” says IMF local Resident Rep, while talking to Propakistani.

A $6 billion IMF bailout package signed by the previous government in 2019 was never fully implemented because it (the government) had backtracked on the subsidies and improved revenue and tax collection.

So far, the IMF has disbursed IMF $3 billion but Minister Ismail announced after his meetings with the IMF in Washington that he had requested it to increase the EFF program by another $2 billion.

Officials are seeking an extension to the program until June 2023 and the release of the next tranche of $1billion after the talks conclude.

In recent meetings with Minister Ismail, the IMF linked the continuation of its loan program with the reversal of fuel subsidies that were introduced by the previous government. However, Prime Minister Shehbaz has rejected the summaries to increase fuel prices from the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and the Ministry of Finance several times.

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