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IMF technical team arrives in Pakistan for holding dialogues

ISLAMABAD: A technical team of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has arrived in Pakistan to hold dialogues with the economic officials for the payment of the next tranche of $6 billion under extended loan programme, ARY News reported on Tuesday.

Sources told ARY News that the technical team will stay for two weeks in Pakistan, whereas, the first session of the financial talks was held with the economic team today.

The recent visit of the IMF officials was made for the payment of next tranche from the international financial body likely to be dispatched in 2020. Sources said that the visiting team initiated dialogues with Pakistan officials over the tax system.

Read: Pakistan’s economic growth projected at 2.4 per cent in FY2019-20: IMF

The officials of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) briefed the technical team regarding the matters related to income and sales taxes besides holding discussion over the possibilities of retrieving more than Rs700 billion in term of tax collections.

The technical team urged the Pakistani officials to eliminate exemptions being given on income and sales tax to increase the collections. Sources revealed that the technical team will also review the tax exemption which had been given during the tenures of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) and Pakistan People’s Party (PPP).

It may be noted here that Pakistan had received $1 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the first tranche of a bailout package for balance of payment support on July 10.

Read: New IMF chief Georgieva says world suffering ‘synchronized slowdown’

In a previous visit of the financial institution’s officials in September, an IMF’s declaration had stated that Pakistan’s economic growth rate is projected at 2.4 per cent during the current financial year of 2019-20 and inflation is expected to decline in the coming months.

The delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) led by Ernesto Ramirez Rigo had concluded its visit to Pakistan during September 16–20.

The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in its Washington meeting on July 3 approved $6 billion loan for Pakistan under its bailout programme.

Read: SBP Governor Reza Baqir briefs IMF team on SBP’s reform programme

Pakistan’s government and the IMF had already signed staff agreement on May 12. The Executive Board of the IMF will give its final nod to the agreement under which Pakistan will receive six billion dollars loan package from the lender in three years under the extended fund facility.

Earlier on Monday, Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs Abdul Hafeez Shaikh had left for the United States to attend the annual meetings of International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Sources said that Abdul Hafeez Shaikh will also hold important meetings with the officials of IMF and the World Bank during the visit. The adviser likely to return homeland by Sunday, sources added.

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