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IMF Demands Asset Disclosure for Pakistan’s Public Officials and Strict Anti-Corruption Measures

ISLAMABAD: On Saturday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) called on Pakistan to guarantee transparency concerning the assets of public officeholders, government officials, ministers, and parliamentarians.

According to sources, the IMF has proposed strict anti-corruption measures in the upcoming 2024 budget. Specifically, the IMF directed the government to establish a portal to disclose the assets of public officials. However, the government has not yet implemented this directive.

Under the agreement with the IMF, Pakistani authorities are obligated to create this portal and disclose asset details. The government had prepared a Performa for officials to disclose their assets, but it was not made public, sources revealed. Furthermore, banks will now be required to obtain asset information from government officials when opening new accounts.

Earlier reports indicated that Pakistan’s development budget is being affected to meet IMF targets. Out of a development budget of Rs 950 billion, only Rs 379 billion has been utilized to meet these targets this year. These budget reductions have negatively impacted various sectors, including health, higher education, and infrastructure projects.

Previously, the IMF released an official statement following discussions with Pakistan, confirming that Islamabad has formally requested a new loan program from the IMF. An IMF delegation, led by Mission Chief Nathan Porter, visited Pakistan and held extensive negotiations from May 13 to May 23 to discuss the country’s economic improvements.

The statement highlighted that the Pakistani government is making serious efforts to increase revenue and emphasized the need for fair tax collection from privileged sectors. The IMF mission assured Pakistan of its commitment to working together for sustainable economic growth, noting that the country’s economy would stabilize with the support of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program.

Pakistan has successfully met the targets set under the Standby Arrangement Agreement, supporting the forthcoming new loan program. The IMF statement underscored the necessity of expanding the tax net, implementing appropriate policy and exchange rate measures to control inflation, and emphasizing the critical need for energy sector reforms.

The IMF also highlighted the need to improve the performance of state-owned enterprises, indicating that privatization of these corporations is essential for better efficiency.

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