International Monetary Fund wants India to focus on medium-term fiscal consolidation

Georgieva cautions that it’s too early to make projections

Georgieva cautions that it’s too early to make projections

In a press release issued on Friday after an International Monetary Fund mission concluded its review of Pakistan's economic reforms, it said it had held "constructive and productive discussions with the Pakistani authorities".

According to a statement issued on Friday at the conclusion of the International Monetary Fund s mission s visit to Pakistan, the International Monetary Fund credited Pakistan with meeting the all-end December performance criteria and said that structural benchmarks had been completed.

The IMF mission visited Islamabad between February 3 and February 13 to initiate discussions on the second review of its economic reform programme.

The IMF sharply cut India's growth forecast for the FY20 to 4.8 percent last month from the 7.5 percent made in January 2019.

"The mission and the authorities made significant progress in the discussions on policies and reforms", the statement quoting Rigo said. "Economic activity has stabilized and remains on the path of gradual recovery".

He said that Pakistan s current account deficit had declined due to the real exchange rate "that is now broadly in line with fundamentals", while worldwide reserves continue to rebuild at a pace considerably faster than anticipated.

Mr Rigo added, "Inflation should start to see a declining trend as the pass-through of exchange rate depreciation has been absorbed and supply-side constraints appear to be temporary".

Fiscal performance in the first half of the fiscal year was termed "strong". "Development and social spending have been accelerated". "All end-December performance criteria were met, and structural benchmarks have been completed", he commented on the conclusion of the talks.

Meanwhile, Special Secretary to Finance Ministry and official Spokesman Omar Hamid Khan on Friday tweeted that the talks were concluded with complete understanding on all issues and progress in all areas was noted. The IMF Board in all likelihood will approve the recommendations of the review team, he concluded.

Moreover, the mission also asked Pakistan to increase the gas and electricity prices; however, the government did not increase the tariffs even though a summary seeking an increase in the gas prices was tabled in the ECC meeting three times over the past month.

According to senior Finance Ministry sources, the issue of discord between the IMF and financial authorities is the former's insistence to cut down heavily of Pakistan's reliance on trade and commerce ties with China and contract FTAs with other global partners.

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