The long awaited International Monetary Fund team will visit Pakistan from Monday (April 29) to continue technical discussions for an IMF-supported programme, a spokesman for the Ministry of Finance said.
Advisor and spokesperson Finance Division Dr. Khaqan Najeeb in a statement said that “extensive preparation for data and macro economic framework finalisation and structural reforms are ongoing,” Najeed said. The government is hoping for a $6 billion bailout package from the IMF.
He further said the Ministry of Finance has also held in-depth discussions with all key stakeholders, including State Bank of Pakistan, Power and Gas Division, Privatisation Commission, Federal Board of Revenue and Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP).
IMF bailout package has created many controversies as at some extent it is considered that of finalization of IMF bailout package is also one of the main reasons to remove Finance Minister Asad Umar from his post. Soon after taking charge the new adviser to the prime minister on finance, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, announced that he has already contacted the IMF and will be preparing a budget strategy paper.
He said it has been decided to present on April 30 a budget strategy paper to the cabinet for approval while immediate contact has been established with Jihad Azour, the IMF director of the Middle East and Central Asia. Its worth mentioning that IMF wants Pakistan to cut fiscal deficits, reduce losses of state-run companies, a market-driven exchange rate, and a broadened tax base.