The International Monetary Fund (IMF) staff mission has started discussion here with the government authorities to review Pakistan’s performance under its US $6 billion extended fund facility.
Advisor to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told media on Monday that the talks will continue until February 14, adding that a successful quarterly review will lead to release of third tranche of $450 million next month.
Under the 39-month IMF extended fund facility, Pakistan has already received $1.44 billion in two installments. During its stay in Pakistan, the IMF team will review performance of various ministries and departments besides reviewing reforms in energy and tax sectors.
Hafeez Shaikh said inflation rate in the country will start receding soon and will gradually come down to a comfortable level. He said the federal government has taken a number of initiatives to bring down prices of various commodities. “The nation will see the prices falling down soon,” he added.
Hafeez Shaikh said in order to control inflation, the government has stopped borrowing money from the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) besides minimizing budget deficit by reducing unnecessary expenditures. Proposing the provinces to play their role in controlling inflation, he said hoarding and profiteering issues must be resolved through administrative measures.
To a question, he said the prices of food items and fresh vegetables have increased due to seasonal changes and hoped that the prices will come down in days to come.
He said the decision of importing wheat was taken in a bid to control inflation. He said due to prudent measures taken by the government, the rupee-dollar parity has become stable now.
The advisor said that due to stability and peace in the country, investors from across the world are coming to Pakistan and want to avail huge opportunities offered by the country.