Miftah Ismail, the Federal Minister of Finance and Revenue, restated the government’s determination to carry out the changes outlined in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) program and meet the structural benchmarks on Wednesday.
The finance minister stated in a virtual meeting with the International Monetary Fund Mission Chief Nathan Porter that the government recognizes the current economic difficulties and that it will have to make difficult decisions while minimizing the impact of inflation on middle- and low-income groups.
Porter echoed the IMF’s assessment of the country’s issues, emphasizing that Pakistan’s economy required both urgent and long-term solutions.
Miftah stressed that the government had no influence over some of the issues that had a negative impact on the economy. Exogenous variables such as supply disruptions, the commodities supercycle, and the Russia-Ukraine war pushed commodity prices further higher. These factors, he noted, were placing strain on the current account and foreign currency reserves.
He said that the administration will take steps to minimise the economic burden while also safeguarding the most disadvantaged members of society. He went on to say that we should work to solve structural challenges so that Pakistan may eliminate its budget imbalance and achieve long-term development.
The finance minister expressed gratitude to the Mission Chief for the IMF’s assistance at a tough period for the global economy. Both parties expressed a strong desire to conclude the evaluation effectively.
Dr. Aisha Ghous Pasha, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue, attended the meeting, as did the Finance Secretary, the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, and the Chairman of the Federal Board of Revenue.
The Finance Division’s top management, as well as the State Bank of Pakistan and the Federal Board of Revenue, have already arrived in Doha for the 7th Review Mission. The finance minister will join the team in Doha early next week to wrap up the talks, with the hope of reaching an agreement for the IMF to continue supporting the program until it is completed successfully.