IMF Mission concludes visit with satisfaction over progress in key areas

26

ISLAMABAD, Feb 14 (APP):The International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission Friday concluded its staff level visit, expressing satisfaction with the progress made during the last few months in advancing reforms and continuing with sound economic policies.

“All end-December performance criteria were met, and structural benchmarks have been completed,” an IMF press release, issued at the conclusion of its Mission’s visit to Pakistan, said.

The IMF said the steadfast progress on the programme’s implementation would pave the way for the IMF Executive Board’s consideration of the review. In implementing the programme, development and social spending had been accelerated.

It added that the IMF Mission, led by Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, visited Islamabad during February 3-13, to initiate discussions on the second review of the authorities’ economic reform programme supported under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement.

“The IMF staff team had constructive and productive discussions with the Pakistani authorities and commended them on the considerable progress made during the last few months in advancing reforms and continuing with sound economic policies,” said Ramirez Rigo in a statement on the conclusion of the visit.

The Mission and the authorities made significant progress in the discussions on policies and reforms, Rigo said, adding in the coming days, progress would continue to pave the way for the IMF Executive Board’s consideration of the review.

“The macroeconomic outlook remains broadly as expected at the time of the first review while the economic activity has stabilized and remains on the path of gradual recovery,” Rigo said, adding the Current Account deficit had declined, helped by the real exchange rate that was now broadly in line with fundamentals, international reserves continued to rebuild at a pace considerably faster than anticipated.

According to the statement, inflation should start to see a declining trend as the pass-through of exchange rate depreciation has been absorbed supply-side constraints appear to be temporary.

Fiscal performance in the first half of the fiscal year remained strong, with the general government registering a primary surplus of 0.7 percent of GDP on the back of strong domestic tax revenue growth.

Development and social spending have been accelerated, the statement concluded.
Meanwhile, Special Secretary Finance and Spokesperson Finance Division Omar Hamid Khan, while commenting on the negotiations between Pakistan and IMF, said the talks were concluded with complete understanding on all issues and progress in all areas was noted.

“The IMF Mission concludes their staff level visit expressing satisfaction with the progress made,” he tweeted.

The IMF Board in all likelihood would approve the recommendations of the review team, he added.

“IMF Mission concludes their staff level visit expressing satisfaction with the progress made. All end-December performance criteria were met, and structural benchmarks have been completed,” he tweeted