Senate lauds completion of IMF programme in June


Finance secretary tells Senate committee govt met all IMF targets for successful completion of loan programme

The Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance was informed on Thursday that the Extended Fund Facility Programme with International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be successfully completed in June.

Earlier such programmes were never completed, the committee was informed during a briefing by the Finance Ministry.

The committee meeting was chaired by Senator Saleem Mandviwala.

Briefing the committee, Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood said that 10 reviews with IMF have been made so far, while the 11th review is scheduled in May and the 12th review, which will be the last in the series, will be made in June.

He said that negotiations for the three-year facility of $6.64 billion were started in June 2013 and the loan became functional from September 2013.

He informed the committee that the fund has so far released $5.76 billion out of which $4.4 billion were returned to pay back the previous loan taken from the fund, which he said is almost two-thirds of the total amount.

The secretary informed the committee that the last loan taken from IMF was at 1.03 per cent markup rate while the current loan has been provided at 1.05 per cent.

On the occasion, Saleem Mandviwalla congratulated the finance secretary for successful completion of the programme.

The committee was informed that the government met all the performance as well as structural targets, including net domestic assets, net international reserves, SBP borrowing, fiscal deficit etc.

He informed the committee that the government has been working to devise a 15-year roadmap to scale down the circular debt to 50 per cent of GDP, which currently hovers around 60 per cent, amounting to over Rs 19 trillion.

Earlier, the committee sent the bill titled “the Members, Election  Commission (Salary, Allowances, Perks and Privileges) bill 2016” to Speaker National assembly to clarify how and why the bill was declared as money bill, which in their reading does not seem to be so.

The committee deferred the discussions on the clearance of circular debt of power sector (Rs.480 billion).

The Chairman remarked that when all the concerned departments provide written reply to the answers to the questions the senate committee has sent them, the matter would be taken up.

The committee was also briefed on privatization process of public sector entities, structure of PIA privatization and future of its employees.



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