Monday, August 8, 2022

Pakistan receives MEFP from IMF for 7th, 8th reviews

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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Tuesday received the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the seventh and eighth reviews.

This was confirmed by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on his official Twitter handle.

“Early this morning, the Government of Pakistan has received a MEFP from the IMF for combined 7th and 8th reviews,” he wrote.

The MEFP is a document which contains details regarding striking a staff-level agreement.

Previously, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has asserted that the terms with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been finalized and the deal will close soon, barring any other conditions set by the global lender.

Addressing the PML-N Senators, the prime minister criticized the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) for signing an agreement with the international lender to increase the levy on fuel prices, but refused to abide by the agreement.

Read More: GOVT TAKES U-TURN OVER INCOME TAX EXEMPTION AFTER IMF AGREEMENT

Pakistan, IMF talks

Pakistan unveiled a 9.5 trillion rupee ($47 billion) budget for 2022-23 this month aimed at tight fiscal consolidation in a bid to convince the IMF to restart much-needed bailout payments.

However, the lender later said additional measures were needed to bring Pakistan’s budget in line with the key objectives of the IMF programme.

The two sides held talks last week and agreed on the budget and fiscal measures but still need to agree on a set of monetary targets, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said.

Pakistan had sought an increase in the size and duration of the programme when Ismail met with IMF officials in Washington in April.

Pakistan entered the IMF programme in 2019, but only half the funds have been disbursed to date as Islamabad has struggled to keep targets on track.

The last disbursement was in February and the next tranche was to follow a review in March, but the government of ousted prime minister Imran Khan introduced costly fuel price caps which threw fiscal targets and the programme off track.

Pakistan’s new government has removed the price caps, with fuel prices going up at the pump by up to 70% in a matter of three weeks.

With additional input from Reuters.

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