Economic situation will soon turn better: Miftah

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From Our Correspondent

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Minister Miftah Ismail said much-anticipated talks with International Monetary Fund (IMF) are going forward in a “positive” manner, hoping that economic situation in country would improve soon.

Taking to his Twitter handle, he wrote, “With positive IMF talks underway, we expect a turnaround in economic situation very soon.” Miftah also shared current account data released by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) last night, terming decline a “good sign for external stability”.

Federal government has decided to withdraw subsidies on petroleum products and electricity before Monday. According to reports, during ongoing technical talks with Fund mission in Doha, Pakistani delegation also discussed programme to privatise power plants. Schedule for privatisation of state-owned enterprises has also been shown to IMF.

While Pakistan’s leadership has agreed to most of conditions of international lending body, sources, however revealed that they have sought concession on a hike in policy rate, citing its negative impact on business activities as a major reason. Central Bank is scheduled to announce monetary policy for next month on May 23 (Monday).

Pakistan’s delegation under leadership of Finance Secretary Hamed Yaqoob Shaikh told IMF mission that a hike in policy rate would dent business activities which would impact economy of Pakistan.

Govt agrees to implement IMF demands

ISLAMABAD: In a nerve-wracking development, incumbent government after much deliberations has finally agreed to implement most of demands of International Monetary Fund raising possibility of country “coming back on track economically” and receiving next IMF loan tranche.

Pakistani negotiation team includes Finance Secretary Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, Federal Board of Revenue Chairman Asim Ahmad and State Bank of Pakistan’s acting Governor Dr Murtaza Syed. Technical level talks were still going on between Pakistan and IMF which will continue until May 23. Pakistani authorities have agreed to cut subsidies and timeframe for privatisation.