IMF mission concludes visit to Pak

Islamabad, Sep 21 (IANS) An International Monitory Fund (IMF) mission has concluded a five-day visit to Pakistan, highlighting progress in multiple key areas. According to a statement posted on the IMF website on Friday, the country’s economic programme is off to a promising start, but decisive implementation of reforms is critical to pave the way for stronger and sustainable growth, Dawn news reported.

The IMF mission, led by its Pakistan, Middle East and Central Asia Mission Chief Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, had visited Islamabad and Karachi from September 16-20 to take stock of economic developments since the start of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and discuss progress in the implementation of economic policies.

After concluding the visit on Friday, Rigo told the media here: “While the authorities’ economic reform programme is still in its early stages, there has been progress in some key areas… “There has been a significant improvement in tax revenue collections, with taxes showing double-digit growth net of exporters’ refunds. Moreover, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) is undertaking significant steps to improve tax administration and its interface with taxpayers.”

Talking about the economic outlook for the country, the mission chief said, “The near-term macroeconomic outlook is broadly unchanged from the time of the programme approval, with growth projected at 2.4 per cent in FY2019-20, inflation expected to decline in the coming months, and the current account adjusting more rapidly than anticipated. “In order to complete the first review, an IMF staff team plans to return to Pakistan in late-October to assess the end-September program targets.”


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