Govt, IMF policy level talks today

ISLAMABAD: A high-level delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will arrive in Pakistan tomorrow (Monday) to hold technical level talks with the Pakistani officials led by Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, Revenue Minister Hammad Azhar confirmed on Sunday.

The IMF delegation comprising its directors would start policy level discussions with the Pakistani team – to be concluded on Feb 13 – and then present it to the IMF board.

During this period, next quarter (third) benchmarks would be set with the authorities.

Earlier the visiting staff level delegation of IMF had concluded its performance review after having several meetings with the ministries and departments over Rs5.5 trillion revenue targets and third tranche.

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‘HOARDERS TO FACE GOVT WRATH’

Minister Hammad Azhar said Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government would expedite crackdown against the hoarders in a bid to reducing the prices of essential commodities in next few days.

The government would encircle the mafias hiding behind sugar, wheat, textile and other sectors, he said while talking to a private news channel.

The action would be launched with the help of provincial governments to catch the perpetrators who were involved in creating artificial shortage of essential food items in the country, the minister added.

Commenting on currency devaluation and inflation, he said the PTI government had to take unpopular decisions to balance the economic system.

Criticizing the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)’s regime, Azhar said in fact, weak policies introduced by the last government had played a major role in the currency devaluation.

He added that the price hike issue in some food items including vegetables would be resolved in a couple of days.

To another query, the minister said the assembling plants of smart mobile phones, and other industrial sectors were being set up to achieve economic progress and prosperity.

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