Pakistan, IMF start virtual negotiations to build consensus on ninth review

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have started virtual negotiations to build consensus on the ninth review, said a senior official of the finance ministry, on Tuesday. 

The Pakistani team has started an exchange of information with the IMF, sources added.

They said the government has communicated to the IMF that it would meet the revenue target set for the current fiscal year.  

In this regard, the Pakistani team has stressed that the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) will collect Rs 80-90 billion in the remaining period of financial year 2022-23 by imposing a 17% sales tax on petroleum products.

In addition, FBR also plans to impose a sales tax or increase sales tax/excise duty on beverages, and cigarettes and withdraw sales tax exemption on the import of inputs used by the export sectors.

Sources said that the first session between the IMF and the Pakistan team remained inconclusive but both sides will hold a virtual meeting on Wednesday again.

Meanwhile, addressing the launch of a loan scheme in Islamabad, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday said that Pakistan had given a “clear message” to the IMF about the country’s desire to complete the ninth review of the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

“We are ready and want to sit down regarding your conditions so that it can be concluded and Pakistan can move forward,” the premier added.

He stated that Pakistan had been “given a clear message left and right” that the country would not be abandoned but that it was necessary for it to “stitch” the IMF programme.

Sharif said that the government had written to the international money lender. “I spoke to the IMF managing director two weeks ago and we have proactively approached them that we want to complete the ninth review without delay so that the programme moves forward, in addition to other multilateral and bilateral programmes.”

 

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