Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin has denied that talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the resumption of $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) have failed, clarifying that negotiations were, in fact, headed in a “positive direction”.
“The talks are continuing,” Tarin told reporters after addressing members of the Pakistani community at the consulate general in New York on Sunday night.
Tarin, who has been made the adviser to the prime minister on finance and revenue, in his talk with journalists last night, said that the government was “working hard for an inclusive and sustainable economic growth that benefits all segments of the society, especially the poor”.
The finance adviser arrived in New York on Friday from Washington where, besides the loan talks, he attended the annual meetings of the IMF and the World Bank.
“I don’t know what’s the basis on which an impression has been given by some that the talks have failed — they are totally wrong,” he said.
At this stage, the PM’s adviser said, final details were being worked out and the negotiations would conclude successfully.
Tarin said finance secretary Yusuf Khan was still in Washington pursuing the talks with relevant IMF officials, and that he was in contact with the FBR chairman as well as with him for any advice.
There was an atmosphere of positivity and the next few days would show a productive outcome from the talks, he said.
He said his meeting with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and other fund officials were also very “useful and positive.”
“The nation shouldn’t be disillusioned by some unfounded negative reports,” Tarin added.
Asked whether the IMF was demanding for Pakistan to do more, the adviser said that every banker would ask for that when someone applies for a loan.
He said Pakistan had its red lines to protect its interests, although it has been made clear that the government would pursue the reform process for sustainable growth.
Earlier, speaking to the community members, Tarin said that forward-looking fiscal reforms had helped improve tax-to-GDP ratio, bring down the current account deficit and fiscal deficit while improving revenue generation.
Increasing tax collection and broadening the tax base were key targets of the Governments fiscal agenda, he added.
‘No time frame set for conclusion of IMF talks’
The Finance Division had on Sunday announced that negotiations between Pakistan and IMF have been moving forward in Washington positively.
According to a statement, technical teams of both sides are continuing detailed discussions in virtual format after an exchange of relevant data sets.
The Finance Division said that no time frame was set at any stage for the conclusion of talks.