IMF SOS mission to arrive in Pakistan


ISLAMABAD, SEPT 15 (DNA) – International Monetary Fund (IMF) is sending its SOS (Save Our Soul) mission to Pakistan for suggesting ways to the cash-strapped government to curtail the budget deficit being faced by the country.The IMF expressed concern over Pakistan’s economic performance in the first two months and is sending its SOS mission to Islamabad.The mission will be vising Pakistan to discuss fiscal issues with special focus to restrict target of primary deficit within the desired limits.

The officials of the ministry of finance and IMF will review the reasons behind the collection of Rs580 billion in pursuance of the tax target of Rs648 billion.

The SOS mission will be headed by IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department Director Jihad Azour and the delegation will hold consultation on energy reforms.

Earlier on Friday, the finance ministry categorically refuted the claims made in certain media reports that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was sending an SOS mission to Pakistan owing to the fiscal outcomes of FY 2018-19 and that programme might be renegotiated.

“It is clarified that both these assertions are completely incorrect and not based on actual ground realities,” said the ministry.

It clarified that the upcoming IMF Mission was a staff level visit and coincides with the visit of the Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department of the International Monetary Fund.

The Director’s visit to Pakistan had been planned for September soon after the finalisation of the programme, it said adding that as such, it was absolutely erroneous to construe that the IMF staff level mission was any kind of SOS mission as it had already been planned much earlier.

The claim that the IMF programme was being renegotiated was equally misconceived, it added.

“The government of Pakistan remains firmly committed to implement the policies and reforms spelled out in the IMF-supported program,” it added.=DNA