Shaukat Tarin, the federal finance and revenue minister, expressed optimism on Thursday about the outcome of high-level talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) aimed at bringing back the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
When asked about Pakistan’s economic future during an interview at the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) on “Pakistan’s Economic Future,” the federal minister said, “I believe that the progress we have made to date is extremely encouraging, and as we say, InshaAllah, I see that happening now during this visit.”
The minister stated that the conclusion of the sixth round of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was the most important part of his visit to the United States (US), noting that many virtual meetings had already taken place and that the technical level discussions had also been completed.
Finally, Tarin stated that talks would be arranged with senior IMF officials, including the organization’s managing director.
During technical discussions with the IMF, the minister stated that his government was concerned that the IMF’s demand for an increase in power tariffs would cause inflation. The minister also stated that the fund had been informed that the increase in tariffs would be implemented gradually in order to avoid an abrupt impact on inflation.
On the power side, there were some issues, including surplus capacity, for which the government was responsible. However, the performance of distribution and generation businesses was improving, as was the overall performance of the industry.
All of this, according to the finance minister, is being satisfactorily negotiated with the International Monetary Fund.