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IMF delegation returns as talks emphasize on expediting privatization process  

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation visiting Pakistan on Friday returned after a successful economic review of the country aimed at releasing the third tranche of the US$6 billion, ARY NEWS reported.

According to the finance ministry sources, it was agreed over not bringing any mini-budget in the country to improve tax revenue collection instead the talks emphasized on expediting the privatization process.

“It was decided to raise the electricity tariff once rather than increasing it on monthly or quarterly basis,” they said adding that the issue pertaining to increasing sales taxes on agricultural inputs was also deferred for next fiscal year.

The IMF delegation approved the decision to import wheat in the country for fulfilling national needs and also allowed a targeted subsidy aimed at facilitating the citizens currently suffering from higher prices of basic food items.

They further said that the IMF would also issue a handout on the completion of its tour to Pakistan.

Earlier on Wednesday, Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) have concluded policy dialogues where both sides agreed on continuing with unchanged tax targets which bars increase in taxes till June 2020.

Sources closer to the Finance Ministry told ARY News that the policy dialogues were held between IMF’s mission chief and Pakistani officials headed by Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.

Read More: IMF team visits Parliament, briefs parliamentarians on economy

The dialogues were also attended by the representatives of the finance ministry, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), privatisation commission, energy, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) and others.

Sources said that the federal government will not bring mini-budget and no hike will be made in term of taxes till June 2020. Both sides have also held discussion over the Islamabad’s demand to reduce targets of tax revenues for FBR as IMF had expressed dissatisfaction over the board’s performance.

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