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Tarin: Talks with IMF in the right direction

NEW YORK: Adviser to Prime Minister Shaukat Tarin has dismissed reports that talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the resumption of $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) had failed, asserting that they were headed in a right direction.

“The talks are ongoing,” Tarin told reporters after speaking to members of the Pakistani community at the consulate general in New York on Sunday night, where he said the government was working hard to achieve inclusive and sustainable economic growth that benefits all segments of society, particularly the poor.

Tarin arrived in New York on Friday from Washington, where he attended the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in addition to the loan talks. “I’m not sure what the foundation is for some people’s belief that the talks have failed— they’re completely wrong,” he said.

Also read: Pakistan’s fiscal metrics are improving, according to the IMF.

Final details were being worked out at this point, he stated, and the discussions would, inshaAllah, be successful. Tarin stated that finance secretary Yusuf Khan was still in Washington, conducting negotiations with appropriate IMF officials, and that he was in touch with the FBR chairman for any recommendations. There was a positive vibe in the room, and he predicted that the conversations will yield fruit in the coming days.

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In this regard, he said his meetings with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and other fund officials were also very “useful and positive”. “The nation shouldn’t be disillusioned by some unfounded negative reports,” the advisor added.

Asked whether the IMF was demanding that Pakistan do more, Tarin said that every banker would ask for when some one applies for a loan. Pakistan, he said, had its red lines to protect its interests, although it has been made clear that the government would pursue the reform process for sustainable growth.

Earlier, speaking to the community members, Tarin and the State Bank Governor, Dr Reza Baqir, who accompanied him, urged them to invest in the Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA) under which they can directly invest into the shares of companies in Pakistan and units of funds.

Pakistan Consul General in New York, Ayesha Ali, welcomed the Finance Minister and his team to the Pakistan House, and thanked the community members for turning up in such large numbers on a weekend.

Pakistan’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations, Ambassador Munir Akram, was also present. In his remarks to the community members, Tarin highlighted the economic priorities of the government, saying that Prime Minister Imran Khan had taken bold decisions that have resulted in stabilising the economy.

He said that forward-looking fiscal reforms had helped to improve tax to GDP ratio, bring down current account deficit and fiscal deficit while improving revenue generation. Increasing tax collection and broadening the tax base were key targets of the Government’s fiscal agenda, he added.

Also read: THE IMF WANT PAKISTAN’S ELECTRICITY TARIFF TO BE INCREASED

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He thanked Overseas Pakistanis for their role in sustaining the economy through high levels of remittances. The minister also shared steps taken to help the underprivileged through Kamyab Pakistan programme, which he said would help them to achieve self-sufficiency and to realize Prime Minister Imran Khan’s vision of a prosperous Pakistan.

The Deputy State Bank Governor, Dr Murtaza Syed, explained in detail the Roshan Digital Accounts (RDA) and other programmes introduced for the welfare of the people.

He lauded the overwhelming response of the Pakistani Diaspora to the Roshan Digital Pakistan initiative, saying that there was tremendous potential for growth in remittances. An interactive session followed in which the audience comprising prominent community members and academics asked questions which were answered by the finance minister and Dr Baqir.

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