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Panama leaks could be controlled by improving system of accountability: IMF MD

26 October, 2016

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ISLAMABAD: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde has said that a Panama or Bahamas leaks like situation could be controlled by improving the system of accountability and transparency. She was addressing the media in Islamabad on Tuesday with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar.

She condemned the terrorist attack on Police Academy Quetta and expressed condolences for the family members of those who lost their lives in this horrific attack. She said that corruption was the main hindrance in the path of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) and it could be solved by making the system more accountable and transparent.

“Although Pakistan has made substantial progress in the economy by implementing the reform agenda of IMF, it has to do more by bringing reforms in institutions. This is Pakistan’s moment of opportunity to forcefully address remaining economic challenges and lay the foundation for more private sector job creation and higher living standards for all segments of society,” she said.

She said that Pakistan had removed many tax exemptions and concessions and higher tax revenue has allowed for greater public investment and social spending. “About 1.5 million more poor households are benefiting from targeted social assistance than three years ago. Power outages have gradually decreased and the financial performance of the power sector is strengthening. A country-wide strategy to improve the business climate is being implemented,” she added.

Pakistan’s economic transformation cannot happen without the country’s youth—who comprise about 60 percent of the population—and women, of whom only one in four participate in the labour force. She further said that while the IMF-supported programme has been completed and Pakistan’s did not asked for the next IMF Programme, we will provide technical assistance to Pakistan on policy dialogue and capacity building engagement.

On this occasion Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan’s fiscal and monetary policies have been improved, and Pakistan has applied for the membership of OECD anti bribe forum. This forum consists of 14 countries. Through this forum Pakistan will be able to get corruption related information to members’ countries.

He further said that Pakistan Bureau Statistics is an independent organisation and its chief had given a briefing on the economic statistics of the country. The statistics are right but some biased independent economists were spreading false information. About the Inquiry commission Bill 2016, Dar stated that the bill is lying in the lower house and theb government will form the judicial commission under this bill. Nobody is above the law and the Panama affair is in the Supreme Court so there is no justification of dharna in Islamabad. Pakistan had to face huge economic losses due to dharna two years ago.

Ishaq Dar expressed pleasure that for the first time in its history, the country had completed an IMF programme and embarked upon comprehensive economic and financial reforms, and Pakistan was on track to meet all its goals

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