Miftah refutes reports claiming delay in IMF programme

KP Cabinet authorises KP CM to sign MoU in connection with IMF agreement

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail on Monday  refuted reports claiming that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan programme for Pakistan had been postponed, assuring that “the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme with the Fund was on track”.

Taking to Twitter, the minister shared a news report by Global Village Space claiming the postponement of the IMF programme due to an alleged impasse over “anti-corruption regulations”. The report adds that IMF was seeking the review of laws pertaining to the National Accountability Bureau (NAB), adding that “the government is willing to implement other financial measures, except the ones related to the NAB.”

Miftah category rejected the report, adding that there was no truth in this as the programme was on track.

“I have been reading with some amusement all the tweets and stories about IMF program being postponed or delayed due to some anti-corruption law. There is no truth to it. The IMF program is on track,” he tweeted.

In May 2019, Pakistan and the IMF reached a staff-level agreement on economic policies for a three-year EFF.

Under the agreement, Pakistan was to receive about $6 billion for a period of 39 months, and so far it has received almost half of it.

It is pertinent to mention here that Pakistan received Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) in the last week of June from the IMF for combined 7th and 8th reviews under EFF.

The federal government is now required to share with IMF an MoU with provinces along with the finance bill passed by parliament as prior actions to ensure that budget numbers presented in the fiscal framework would be adhered to.

The two sides would then jointly go through the MEFP soon before formal signing by the finance minister and the SBP governor to enable the fund staff to circulate Pakistan’s case among the executive board members for approval.

Meanwhile, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Cabinet on Monday with authorised the provincial chief minister to sign MoU in connection with the IMF under the shared fiscal responsibilities of the federal and provincial governments.

The decision was taken in a meeting held here with Chief Minister Mahmood Khan in the chair.

The meeting unanimously decided that the rights of the province would be protected at every cost.

“An agreement with the IMF is a collective responsibility; however, protecting the interests of the province is also our foremost responsibility which would be fulfilled any way. The people of merged areas are our brethren, and they would not be deprived of the free treatment facility,” they observed.

“No decision to ink MoU has been taken as yet and we don’t want to do politics on this issue. However, the MoU will be signed as and when our concerns are addressed by the federal government,” they remarked.

 

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