Dar to hold talks with IMF in Dubai next week

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar will leave for Dubai on Monday to participate the 10th review talks between Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF), official sources said on Friday.

Pakistan and the IMF teams have already started review talks in Dubai and first technical round will be completed by the end of the ongoing month.

The policy level talks will be held from the next week whereby Dar will lead Pakistani delegation and Herald Finger will lead the IMF team, officials in the Ministry of Finance told APP.

Finance Secretary Dr. Waqar Masood Khan, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Ashraf Mehmood Wathra and Chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Nisar Mohammad Khan will assist the Finance Minister in the talks.

The policy level talks will be concluded in the first week of February, after which Herald Finger is expected to visit Islamabad for holding joint press conference with Dar on the outcomes of deliberation.

Recommendations will be made for releasing 11th tranche of US $500 million loan to Pakistan after the conclusion of successful talks.

According to the officials, Pakistan’s capacity to repay the Fund has been strengthened by supportive policies, improved foreign exchange buffers on the back of strong remittances and low oil prices, and a lower budget deficit.

Pakistan authorities would brief the IMF delegation in details on tax revenues, reforms in energy sector and privatization programme during the meeting.

The IMF delegation will be informed that the government has started taking effective steps for extending scope of tax net and non-tax payers are being persuaded through introducing voluntary tax compliance scheme to be integrated into tax net besides eliminating tax exemptions and phasing out the SROs.

Reforms are also underway in energy sector under which subsidy will be phased out.

The IMF delegation will also be apprised that pace of implementation of privatization process of those state-owned enterprises causing huge losses to the national exchequer.

According to the sources, IMF has asked Pakistan to further bolster its foreign currency reserves through various means, by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) during the remaining period of the current fiscal year.




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