IMF is ready to work with Pakistan on ‘social security’ initiatives

ISLAMABAD, June 15 (Alliance News): Officials at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are looking at Pakistan’s budget for fiscal year 2013-14 as a document that includes points for moving forward with talks to revive the IMF package.

It may be recalled that on Friday, Pakistan was presented with a budget of 47 47 billion for the year 2013-14, which includes a number of financial stabilization measures, which led Islamabad to hope that it would provide bailout payments to the IMF. Will convince

According to diplomatic sources in Washington say that staff-level talks were held in Doha last month, with the IMF and Pakistan agreeing on a number of important issues, such as withdrawing subsidies and increasing tax collection.

Sources said that one of the key points agreed upon by the two sides was social protection, ie reducing the impact of austerity measures on the poor.

The source added that IMF officials acknowledge that some of these measures could harm the poor and are ready to work with Pakistan to reduce its impact.

After the first round of talks with IMF officials in Washington in April, Finance Minister Muftah Ismail hinted at releasing fuel for civilian vehicles or public transport.

Sources said negotiators could also work to reduce the impact on essential commodities such as groceries, as prices of locally produced essential commodities could rise as fuel prices rise. ۔

Similar arrangements could be made for the power sector to protect low-level consumers, a source said, noting that the IMF views such measures as “social security”. And ready to help the government do that.

Sources also dismissed media speculation that the IMF would not negotiate with the interim government.

One of the sources said that the IMF would not have any problem with the interim government if the steps it was taking could be implemented during his tenure.

The source added that “the IMF also has concerns about governance and corruption” and would not like to be associated with any program that is considered open to corruption.

Also read: Administrative issues need to be fixed otherwise economy will not recover: Muftah Ismail

“The fund would also not like to be seen as a supporter of one group of politicians against another, whether in opposition or in government,” he said.

The sources added that the measures proposed by the IMF are aimed at reducing Pakistan’s fiscal and current account deficit, the fund wants better management this time as the previous government had deviated from the agreed policies in the previous review.

The government has already withdrawn fuel and power sector subsidies from its predecessors, in violation of an agreement with the IMF.

The measures announced in the budget include an additional 2% tax on persons with an annual income of Rs.

The government has also hinted that it may raise fuel prices further, a move that would hurt consumers. In addition, the government plans to raise Rs 96 billion from privatization in 2012-13.

Esther Perez Ruiz, the IMF’s representative in Pakistan, told the media two days ago that Pakistan needed to take more drastic measures to keep the fund’s lending program on track.

Pakistan signed a ماہ 6 billion extension fund facility with the IMF for 39 months in July 2019, but the fund stopped disbursing about ً 3 billion after the previous government backtracked on its promises.

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