Govt fully committed to IMF programme: Tarin

Hamza HabibOur Correspondent

27th Sep, 2021. 08:17 pm

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has said that the government is committed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme and expressed the hope to successfully complete the upcoming review, as well as consultations on the Article IV.

During a meeting with Esther Perez Ruiz, the nominated resident representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), who paid a courtesy call on him at the Finance Division on Monday, the finance minister felicitated the nominated resident representative and expressed his best wishes for her upcoming assignment beginning in November 2021.

Ruiz was accompanied by the outgoing representative of IMF Teresa Sanchez on the occasion. Ruiz is currently visiting Pakistan on a pre-assignment mission.

Extending a warm welcome, the finance minister said Pakistan is firmly committed to pursuing an all-inclusive and sustainable economic growth with key focus on “bottom-up” approach to uplift the marginalised segments of the society.

To this end, the government intends to engage development partners to broaden the economic development through fiscal consolidation and prudent economic measures, amid the Covid-19 pandemic and in the post-Covid-19 scenario.

Tarin commended the IMF for extending timely assistance during testing times and underlined the key initiatives of the government to provide maximum relief to the masses.

The government is taking a range of administrative, policy and relief measures to absorb the upward pressure on prices of basic food commodities due to the pandemic. It has adopted a multipronged strategy to enhance revenue collection and to broaden the existing tax base, he said and highlighted the commendable performance of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) in surpassing the revenue collection targets in recent months, despite the ongoing Covid-19.\

Broadening the tax base in one of the key priorities of the government, he said, adding that the implementation of track and trace for tobacco is being initiated from October 1, 2021.

This is also one of the requirements under the IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme. He also said reforms were being carried out in the power sector to address the issue of the circular debt.

The new IMF representative commended the efforts of Pakistan in managing the spread of the Coronavirus through a series of smart and targeted lockdowns to strike a balance between lives and livelihoods. She expressed the hope to work closely with the government during her tenure.

Finance Minister Tarin affirmed full support and facilitation to Ruiz and wished her well with her new assignment in Pakistan.

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