Pakistan, IMF Technical-Level Talks Commence Today

Pakistan, IMF Technical-Level Talks Commence Today
In a bid to break the deadlock with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the government on Tuesday will share its strategy with the visiting IMF delegation regarding additional taxation measures.

The briefing will be based on Pakistan’s plan to collect over Rs200 billion by increasing both electricity and gas tariffs to cope with the circular debt.

The IMF’s review mission, led by Nathen Porter, reached Islamabad on Monday and today government and IMF will try to pave the way to accomplish the pending ninth review under the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

The IMF is suggesting hard conditions for lending loans. Although, the government had already implemented two major conditions including allowing adjustment of the rupee against the dollar and hiking record levels of a surge in petroleum prices ahead of talks with the IMF.

The IMF is asking the government to adopt additional taxation measures and minimize expenditures.

The initial talks starting on Tuesday will continue till Friday, after this, the policy-level talks will begin to finalize the Memorandum of Financial and Economic Policies (MEFP) document.

The IMF further stressed an increase in electricity tariff within the range of Rs12.50 per unit. The gas tariff is also expected to be hiked in the range of 74% for consumers.

Read also: ‘No Way Forward For Economy Without Slashing Military, Bureaucracy Expenditure’


The IMF wants Pakistan to reduce its budget deficit, but the country has no plan to do so, says economist Dr Kaiser Bengali.

He told Khabar Say Aagay host Raza Rumi that the deficit can only be reduced through slashing military and bureaucracy expenditure.

The fact is that without this, there is going to be no way forward for the country’s economy, he added.

The economist added that the situation isn’t in the hands of the government; the decision is to be made by the army and the bureaucracy.

Kaiser also called for abolishing 15 to 20 ministries and shutting down departments such as the post office.

He said those involved in property businesses aren’t properly taxed. “There’s a need to improve the structure of the industries enjoying subsidies from the state.”

On Peshawar attack, Rifatullah Orakzai said it’s a security failure. “It is time for the government to take concrete measures; condemnations alone won’t work.”

Shahbaz Rana said that the international lender was in a position to have all of its conditions approved.

“Taxes alone won’t resolve it; we will have to end subsidies on gas and power. The government is still not making tough decisions.”

Fauzia Yazdani pointed out the vast money being spent on election preparation. The polls in 33 constituencies will incur some Rs14 billion, she added.

Murtaza Solangi said, “We cannot run this country on borrowed dollars any longer; reforms are inevitable.”

A delegation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Pakistan from January 31 to February 9 as part of the 9th review of the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF), according to an official.

The country had entered a $6 billion programme of the global lender in 2019, which was later increased to $7 billion.

The talks could result into the release of the much-awaited $1.18bn, as the country continues to battle a critical financial crisis.

It had been delayed for two months owing to the government’s unwillingness to accept some conditions put forth by the Fund.

On Jan 24, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan had shown its willingness to the IMF to enter a deal. The statement came as the country continued to battle a financial crisis.

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