Vaguely enough IMF finds economic growth

Staff Report
ISLAMABAD: The visiting international monetary fund (IMF) post programme monitoring mission has held various rounds of technical discussions with Pakistan side at finance ministry over the last week, an official statement mentioned on Saturday, the IMF delegation has appreciated Pakistan’s efforts in maintaining macro-economic stability and noted impressive economic growth in Pakistan despite multiple challenges.

The Pakistan side was led by finance secretary, Shahid Mahmood while the IMF team was led by Harald Finger, the discussions covered a host of areas including macroeconomic situation, developments in energy, fiscal, financial, monetary and social sectors.

In the opening session, Mahmood shared with IMF delegation an overview of the economy, stating that it was on track and key economic indicators were moving in the positive direction. He mentioned that significant growth has been achieved in revenue generation in the current fiscal year.

Mehmood said that Pakistan has achieved fiscal consolidation without compromising on expenditures on development and social protection. He added the government has set its eyes on achieving 6 percent gross domestic product (GDP) growth which is inclusive, pro-poor and sustainable. He briefly touched upon recent successful launch of Sukuk and Euro bond with the IMF delegation.

The post program monitoring is an annual feature of the fund whereby overall, economic conditions of a member country, which is no more in a program relationship and owes funds to the IMF, are monitored and a report is presented to the executive board of the fund.

It may be recalled, official statement added, that the last IMF mission level visit to Pakistan took place in late 2013. The current visit is taking place after a gap of over 3 years, reflecting improved security conditions as well as the economic performance of the country and growing trust of the international community.

On Friday the mission met state bank of Pakistan (SBP) governor Tariq Bajwa. Over the week, the mission held meetings with the commerce ministry, railways ministry, Pakistan bureau of statistics, oil and gas regulatory authority (OGRA) and securities and exchange commission of Pakistan (SECP).

It met senior officials in other ministries including energy, planning development and reforms, federal board of revenue, Benazir income support programme (BISP) and national electric power regulatory authority (NEPRA) and held technical discussions on key areas.