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Second round of talks: Pak, IMF to engage in policy-level discussion from today

ISLAMABAD: The second phase of talks begins from Monday (today) as Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will engage in policy-level discussions.

Harald Finger will head the IMF delegation for policy-level talks which will be carried out until November 20.

The Pakistani delegation will include secretary finance, chairman federal board of revenue (FBR) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa among other officials.

During the meetings, the Fund will review SBP’s financial independence and FBR’s performance. Additionally, the IMF will also focus on Pakistan’s monetary and fiscal policies as well as its financial needs while considering the current account deficit.

Last week, the first phase of talks, regarding the technical discussions on a possible bailout package, was concluded in the federal capital. Pakistani officials informed the visiting IMF delegation about the government’s intention to establish a ‘wealth fund’to turn the loss-making state owned entities into profit making enterprises before their privatization.

According to sources, the government has informed the visiting IMF team that it has planned to privatize seven state-owned enterprises initially.

The IMF urged the government to control the losses of the state entities. The visiting team of the lender has also expressed dissatisfaction over the performance of the energy sector and the balooning circulation debt.

The officials of international body said that the government had assured about reforms in power sector during the previous bailout talks. The Fund also demanding a speedy privatization of the loss-making entities.

Reportedly, the incumbent government has finalised its paperwork to seek up to $6 billion bailout package from the IMF.

 

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