Pakistan, IMF kick off crucial negotiations

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have kicked off a week-long negotiation on Wednesday in Doha for the 7th Review mission.

According to the Finance Ministry, Federal Minister for Finance & Revenue Miftah Ismail held a virtual meeting with the IMF Mission Chief.

The meeting was attended by Minister of State for Finance & Revenue Aisha Ghous Pasha, Secretary Finance, Governor, State Bank of Pakistan and Chairman Federal Board of Revenue. 

The first batch of the senior management of the Finance Division, State Bank of Pakistan and Federal Board of Revenue has already reached Doha for the 7th Review Mission. 

The Finance Minister reaffirmed the government’s commitment to undertake the reforms envisaged under the program and to complete the structural benchmarks. 

IMF Mission Chief, Nathan Porter shared with the Minister for Finance & Revenue IMF’s assessment of the challenges facing the economy. 

He sensitized that Pakistan’s economy demanded both immediate and long-term measures.

The Finance Minister stated that the government understands the current economic woes and agreed that it will have to take tough decisions while mitigating the effects of inflation on the middle to low-income groups. 

He emphasized that a few of the factors that have adversely affected the economic situation were beyond the control of the government. These included exogenous factors like supply shocks, commodity super cycle and the Russia-Ukraine conflict due to which commodity prices further soared.

These factors were putting pressure on the Current Account as well as foreign exchange reserves.

The Minister stated that the government would take measures to reduce the burden on the economy while protecting the vulnerable sections of the population. The Minister further stated that we should aim to address structural issues so that Pakistan is able to end its fiscal deficit and move towards sustainable growth.

The Finance Minister thanked the IMF Mission Chief for IMF’s support at a difficult time for the global economy. Both sides showed keen interest to complete the review successfully.

It is pertinent to note that the Finance Minister and Minister of State will be joining the team in Doha early next week to conclude the discussion with the expectation to clinch an agreement for IMF’s continued support until the successful completion of the program.

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