Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin Monday said that there is no disagreement between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme would continue without interruption.
Talking to a private television channel, the finance minister said, “Both the government of Pakistan and IMF want to continue the programme.” He said there is no danger of Pakistan coming out of the programme or any breakdown of the programme. He said that both Pakistan and IMF would definitely understand, adding that the way Pakistan had chosen for sustainable growth would be convenient for the IMF.
He said that the government has asked the IMF to check the economic performance of the country for a couple of months and observe the outcome of the existing policies of the government as it announced a thorough budget. He said that IMF and the government both are desirous of structural reforms; however, the Fund wants it instantly without considering the ground realities whereas as Pakistan has been doing the same keeping in view the ground realities.
He said that the IMF wants to make some sectors of the economy, including the power sector, financially viable while the country’s target is the same but the way it adopted it is different from that of the Fund.
He said that the IMF also wants to enhance revenues by removing exemptions. However the minister said that Pakistan would increase revenues by utilising technology to broaden the tax-base instead of burdening the existing taxpayers.
The minister said that the way adopted by the government would lead to stabilisation and sustainable growth as demanded by the fund. He said that the IMF has agreed to continue discussion and watch the results of the policy adopted by the government for two or three months. The minister said that the 6th round of talks with the IMF scheduled in July would now be held two months later.
Meanwhile, Shaukat Tarin Monday said that development and promotion of the agriculture sector is the top most priority of the government. He said this during a meeting with a representative delegation of Fertilizer Manufacturers of Pakistan Advisory Council (FMPAC), which was led by Lt Gen (retd) Triq Khan.
The minister said that a prosperous farmer is vital for the prosperity of the country and the prime minister is very keen about the farmers and agriculture sector. The government will address all the issues of farmers and of the sectors attached to agriculture, he said.
Tarin said the fertilizer sector is the backbone of agriculture and it will be given due preference to address its issue as the fertilizer sector has a direct impact on the prosperity of the farmers.
The minister also listened to the issues being faced by the fertilizer sector and directed SAPM on revenue and chairman Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) to have separate meetings with representatives of the fertilizer sector and come up with their solutions.