Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Reza Baqir said Monday that Islamabad and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been working to implement IMF-supported economic reforms.
In an interview to British News Agency, Reuters; Dr Reza Baqir said that Pakistan is in talks with the IMF to put the financial support program back on track.
He said that he was optimistic about the economic outlook despite the fallout from the coronavirus pandemic.
Pakistan entered a three-year $6 billion IMF bailout program in 2019, but is yet to have its second review approved, which has been pending since early last year.
“We hope to have good news for the market and the world that we are putting the program back on track,” Dr Reza Baqir.
Baqir said there was no disagreement on the end goal between the two sides, and that Pakistan needs to increase its low tax to GDP ratio.
Pakistan and the IMF have been working to implement IMF-supported economic reforms, in particular tax collection, aimed at stabilizing the economy and shoring up a yawning fiscal deficit.
Pakistan received $1.4 billion in emergency financing from the IMF to allow it to fund targeted and temporary spending increases aimed at containing the pandemic and mitigating its economic impact.
Commenting about the Coronavirus impact on Pakistan’s economy, he said that “We are prepared for the challenges that may come about. We are already in the middle of COVID without any vaccine and once the vaccine comes, it will only make this better,” he said
Pakistan’s economy contracted 0.4% in the last fiscal year ended June 30, 2020, as the pandemic disrupted activity.