New IMF programme crucial for economic stability: PM

ISLAMABAD, Apr 4 (Alliance News): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Thursday said the government was planning to enter a new programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) which he said was very important to consolidate the country’s economy.

“With the new IMF programme, the international institutions will have more trust on us and we will be able to move forward on the agenda of development and prosperity with more confidence,” he said while speaking with the participants of the cabinet meeting held here under his chairmanship.

He said the finance minister was going to Washington this month with a delegation to participate in the IMF spring meetings where he will also discuss details of the new programme with the IMF.

He said although the terms of the new deal would not be so easy, but the government will shift the burden of the tough conditions from the less privileged to the wealthier.

The prime minister hoped that after the IMF board meeting, the last tranche of existing standby agreement worth $1.1 billion will be disbursed to Pakistan this month.

As regards PIA divestment, he said the privatization process of Pakistan Airlines was on track and the schedule set for the process would be fully implemented.

He said outsourcing of the airport, the prime minister said a Turkish company was arriving Islamabad on April 6 which would negotiate the outsourcing process with the Pakistani authorities.

As regards, digitization of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the prime minister informed that the consultants for the digitization process would be appointed by end of current month.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said he recently chaired a meeting of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) in which details of various sectors including finance, investment, exports, Information Technology, agriculture, power and petroleum were discussed.

“After a detailed meeting, it was decided that I will personally review the sector wise performance to solve out the problems faced by the sectors and to streamline the country’s economy,” he added.

The prime minister pointed out that the government had fulfilled its due responsibility with respect to the inquiry of the matter of letter by the Islamabad High Court judges by forming an inquiry commission led by former Chief Justice Tassaduq Hussain Jillani. Afterwards, he said Tassaduq Hussain Jillani recused from the commission, subsequently the Supreme Court took a sou motu notice of the letter.

As regards receiving letters by the judges with suspicious powder, the prime minister said the government was investigating the matter. “The government, with the sense of responsibility will also probe this matter to uncover the reality.”

With respect to the security of the Chinese workers and engineers, the prime minster said the government was evolving a fool proof system for the security of the Chinese workers.