Monday’s virtual negotiations between the Shehbaz-led administration and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are expected to begin to resolve the issue of the release of a new instalment under the Extended Fund Facility’s ninth evaluation as well as the forthcoming expenses and income.
The IMF delegation, led by Nathan Porter, met with representatives of the finance ministry for a few days before reviewing previous initiatives’ effects on revenue generation and closing budget shortfalls at a final meeting with tax officials on Friday.
To close the revenue deficit, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) has been entrusted with raising an additional Rs170 billion in taxes. The remaining funds will be reduced through various means, such as eliminating subsidies and raising gas and electricity costs.
The language of a draught Memorandum of Economic and Fiscal Policy (MEFP), also known as the staff-level agreement (SLA), will also be refined by both parties, the insider said, noting that the text of the agreement will be thoroughly debated starting on Monday.
A parliamentary finance committee was informed by Finance Secretary Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh on February 21 that the MEFP would be completed in a week. Unfortunately, that never happened, and according to sources from the finance ministry, the IMF had requested four additional prior acts.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan are likely to reach a Staff Level Agreement, according to remarks made by Finance Minister Muhammad Ishaq Dar on March 2. The agreement is anticipated the following week.
The finance minister said in a tweet that certain anti-Pakistan elements were circulating false rumours that Pakistan might declare bankruptcy.
These rumours, he claimed, not only contradicted the facts but were also wholly untrue. Despite paying all external due payments on schedule, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) has seen an increase in its foreign exchange reserves, which are now about US $ 1 billion greater than they were four weeks ago. According to the finance minister, Pakistan is now receiving loans from foreign commercial banks.