IMF links decisive action to programme success – Newspaper

ISLAMABAD: In a moral boost for the country's economic managers, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has recognized that the PTI government's economic program has had a promising start and has driven its "decisive implementation" to mark the beginning of growth Stronger and more sustainable.

Concluding his five-day visit here on a positive note, an IMF delegation, headed by its director for the Middle East and Central Asia, Jihad Azour, said in a press release that the mission would return to Pakistan at the end of October to formally carry out its first quarterly review of the Extended Fund (EFF) of $ 6 billion for the period ending this month.

"Pakistan's economic program has had a promising start, but decisive implementation is critical to pave the way for stronger and more sustainable growth," the mission said in a statement warning that "national and international risks persist and challenges persist. structural economic. " Therefore, the authorities must move forward with their reform agenda.

Read: Read the IMF program

Expect inflation to decrease in the coming months

The statement said the mission, led by Ernesto Ramírez Rigo, visited Islamabad and Karachi from September 16 to 20 to take stock of economic developments since the beginning of the EFF and discuss progress in the implementation of economic policies. He said a complete mission for the first review under the EFF was scheduled for late October.

The mission noted that the authorities' economic reform program was still in its early stages, while recognizing that progress had been made in some key areas. "The transition to an exchange rate determined by the market has begun to offer positive results in the external balance, the volatility of the exchange rate has decreased, monetary policy is helping to control inflation and the SBP [State Bank of Pakistan] has improved its foreign exchange reserves. "

He also observed "a significant improvement" in the collection of tax revenues, with taxes showing a two-digit net growth in exporter refunds.

In addition, the Federal Revenue Board is taking important steps to improve the tax administration and its interface with taxpayers.

The staff and the authorities have analyzed the worse than expected fiscal results of fiscal year 2018/19, which were partly the result of unique factors and should not jeopardize the ambitious objectives for this fiscal year. It is important to note that the social expenditure measures have been implemented in the program.

The IMF mission said that the short-term macroeconomic outlook remained virtually unchanged from the moment of program approval, with projected growth of 2.4 percent in the 2019/20 fiscal year, inflation is expected to decrease in the next months and the checking account adjusts faster than anticipated

He said the statement at the end of the mission covered the preliminary findings after a staff visit to a country and did not necessarily represent the views of the IMF executive board, nor would this result in a board discussion.

Meanwhile, the power division has said in a statement that the IMF's head of mission also thanked his efforts to achieve the objectives.

According to the statement, the mission had a meeting with Energy Minister Omar Ayub Khan and Energy Secretary Irfan Ali, where he was informed about "historical achievements" in record recoveries and reduction of line losses.

The mission was informed that the circular debt had shown a considerable reduction in its growth. It had been growing with a volume of Rs38 billion per month, but in eight months its growth at the end of the last financial year was reduced to Rs26 billion per month. In July, the results were even encouraging, as growth fell further to Rs18bn per month, as a campaign against energy theft and delinquents yielded results.

The mission was also informed that in the areas where the hooks and energy theft of the lines were rampant, the energy distribution companies were installing grouped overhead cables, while in the areas where the problem was more sophisticated, such as Main urban areas, there were smart meters running and "80{7be40b84a6a43fc4fae13304fce9a2695859798abfc41afd127b9f8b21c5f9c5} of the total feeders in the country" had been "exempt from cargo management". The mission chief appreciated encouraging results, according to the statement.

Posted on Dawn, September 21, 2019



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