ISLAMABAD: Pakistani and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) officials have started technical level talks for the seventh review of the economy of Pakistan.
During the technical level parleys, Pakistani officials will brief virtually the IMF officials about the performance of the second quarter (October-December 2021) of the ongoing financial year. They will also update the IMF people about the macro targets for the third quarter (January-March 2022) of the current fiscal year.
The IMF-Pakistan meetings for the seventh review will be held in two phases. Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin, and the IMF Country Director will lead their delegations in the meetings.
According to available information, the first part of the seven review will be based on a technical level discussion for one week and sharing of data.
However, in the second phase a policy dialogue will be held for three or four days virtually.
After the successful review, Pakistan will receive about one billion dollars (687 million) Special Drawing Rights (SDR) from the IMF.
The tax amnesty scheme for the industry and the Prime Minister’s oil relief package will also be discussed in the meetings as the IMF has reservations about the amnesty scheme.
The Government of Pakistan is optimistic about convincing the IMF about the PM’s relief package as all governments provide relief to the general public, especially against the backdrop of the recent oil and commodities price hikes in the international market.
A day earlier, Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said that the government had already taken IMF into confidence about the subsidy and tax amnesty schemes.
According to the rebased economic data, the quantum of the GDP has surged to $346 billion while the budget deficit remained around 2.1% of the DGP.
Experts, nonetheless, are of the opinion that considering the reduced electricity prices through the PM’s relief package, it seems to be difficult for the government officials to convince the IMF that they cannot increase the power tariff up to July 2022.