Asad Umar meets IMF mission chief, discusses tax reforms

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  •  Ernesto Ramirez expresses concern over reduction in tax collection

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) new mission chief Ernesto Ramirez Rigo on Tuesday called on Finance Minister Asad Umar in Islamabad, a local media outlet reported.

Matters of mutual interests, tax reforms, widening of tax net and other issues were came under discussion during the meeting, said sources.

Finance Minister Asad Umar briefed the IMF new mission chief about the two mini budgets presented by the current government. He apprised Ernesto Ramirez Rigo of steps taken against the tax evaders.

IMF mission chief expressed concern over reduction in tax collection target while Asad Umar apprised Ernesto Ramirez Rigo of the reason behind the decline in revenue collection.

Earlier in the day, the officials of Pakistan and IMF held crucial talks for a bailout package as the IMF new mission chief Ernesto Ramirez Rigo had arrived in Islamabad.

He would also hold talks with the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) officials and the economic team constituted by the government.

Pakistan could ask for $6 to $8 billion loan from the IMF, sources said.

The final agreement between IMF and Pakistan could reach in April in Washington when the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank hold a session, according to the sources.

On March 16, Umar had hinted that bailout package talks with the IMF are in their final stages and the government will have further negotiations with the newly appointed IMF mission chief before reaching an agreement.

“Pakistan has come closer to reaching an agreement with the IMF as the differences between Pakistan and the IMF over a possible bailout package have decreased,” he had said.

The finance minister had said that a deal would materialise only after a detailed discussion with the IMF mission chief. He made it clear that no final amount for the bailout package had been decided so far, as negotiations were still underway.

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