Pakistan, IMF reach consensus to finalize bailout package: Asad Umar

ISLAMABAD, Apr 15 (APP):Minister for Finance Asad Umar on Monday said Pakistan had reached a consensus with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on all issues to finalize the bailout package.

Briefing the National Assembly’s Committee on Finance, Revenue and Economic Affair, which met here with Faizullah Kamoka in the chair, the minister said during his recent visit to Washington, both the sides agreed in principle on the bailout package, which would be around US$ 6 to 8 billion and signed the visit of an IMF team to Pakistan during the current month.

Asad Umar said the government has no plan to increase the prices of electricity and gas in coming days. The IMF had not given any guidelines or made demands regarding electricity and gas tariffs.

He said, “We will share full details of the negotiations with the IMF with the committee and seek its guidelines and proposals.” He proposed that a sub-committee should be formed in that regard.

Later talking to media persons, the finance minister said the IMF delegation would visit Pakistan in the last week of April. With the IMF package, he said, Pakistan would be in a position to seek more financial assistance from the World Bank , Asian Development Bank and big investors in the United States.

He said besides having talks with the IMF in Washington, he held meetings with US investors.

Asad Umar said the IMF bailout package would stable the foreign reserves and enhance the confidence of international financial institutions in Pakistan. The economy would stabilize and the country would move towards sustainable economic growth.

He said currently the country was facing the worst balance of payment crisis in its history, which was because of the bad economic policies of last Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz government.

To a question, the minister said he met Financial Action Task Force (FATF) President Marshall Billingslea during his US visit, who assured him that any decision regrading Pakistan would be taken on technical grounds. 

He said a draft detailing implementation of the FATF’s recommendations by the Pakistan government would be sent today while an FATF delegation would visit Pakistan in the third week of May to review the implementation efforts.
  
Asad Umar said he had a meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan and briefed him on the IMF bailout package talks.

Meanwhile briefing the committee, Minister of State for Revenue Hammad Azher said the government’s priority was to broaden the tax net for increasing its revenues.

Members of the National Assembly Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Dr Ramesh Kumar Vankwani and Ali Pervaiz, besides a representative of Pakistan Federation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry and finance ministry officials, attended the meeting.