International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesperson Gerry Rice has said that Pakistan needs to mobilise domestic tax revenue to fund the “much needed” social development.
The IMF executive board on July 3 had approved a $6 billion bailout package for Pakistan.
While addressing a media briefing in Washington on Thursday, in a reaction to a question regarding whether Pakistan could possibly be advised to cut subsidies and development spending to help keep the primary deficit in line, Rice said that IMF Managing Director David Lipton had also emphasised the need to mobilise domestic tax revenue in an earlier meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
“Let me add that individuals expect an IMF team to stay Pakistan within the next few days, including our director for that area, Jihad Azour will undoubtedly be there,” Rice added.
On September 6, the finance ministry issued a record in which they said misunderstandings had emerged in the media across the scheduled visits of IMF Middle East and Central Asia Director Jihad Azour and a complex team over the following number of weeks.
It had said the ministry would meet in a few days with Azour and apprise him on the outcomes achieved so far. “However, this is simply not an IMF review mission as certain segments of the media have suggested.”
Azour’s visit was planned for September right after the finalisation of the Extended Fund Facility programme.
The federal government also said that its reform agenda signed with IMF was on the right track and the progress up to now on the majority of the performance and structural benchmarks for the very first quarter of the existing fiscal year were very encouraging with a powerful indication that most the targets would be met.
The finance ministry was reportedly compelled to issue the statement after there have been certain media reports about programme renegotiation owing to major fiscal slippages on the conclusion of fiscal year 2018-19. The ministry said it believed the “targets under IMF programme are ambitious, there is no need to renegotiate&rdquo ;.
IMF technical levels talks are expected to be held at a later stage after completion of the very first quarter of the season and can provide both teams with the opportunity to examine progress made up to now, the ministry added.