The finance ministry said on Thursday that interim Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar briefed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission visiting Pakistan on the steps being taken by the government to “improve the economic situation”.
The IMF delegation is visiting Pakistan to review progress on targets set in a $3 billion programme approved in July this year to bail out the struggling economy.
The IMF executive board had approved the much-needed nine-month standby arrangement (SBA) with Pakistan “to support its economic stabilisation programme”. The approval had allowed for an immediate disbursement of $1.2bn, with the rest to be phased over the programme’s duration — subject to two quarterly reviews.
If the second quarterly review is successful, it will allow for the release of the second tranche worth $710 million.
A statement issued by the Ministry of Finance said that the finance minister welcomed the delegation and shared progress on the SBA.
“The minister briefed the mission on fiscal measures being taken by the government to improve the economic situation,” the statement said.
It added that the meeting also included discussions on comprehensive reforms and measures undertaken by the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the government’s strategies to address the circular debt issue.
The statement said that IMF mission chief Nathan Porter “appreciated” the government’s commitment to meeting the first quarter targets, and “commended the government’s efforts and measures taken in some critical areas”.
“He further underscored the importance of the continuation of these efforts to stay on track for the economic stability of the country,” it added.
The statement added that the interim finance minister appreciated the “continued support and assistance” of the Fund. She also reaffirmed the government’s commitment to working closely with the IMF “to ensure the successful completion of the SBA and achieve the economic objectives,” the statement said.
The meeting was attended by Resident Representative for Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz, State Bank of Pakistan Governor Jamil Ahmed, FBR Chairman Malik Amjed Zubair Tiwana, Security and Exchange Commission of Pakistan (SECP) Chairman Akif Saeed, the finance secretary, other IMF delegation members and also senior officers from the Finance Division.