IMF: (IMF Director meets PM)

ISLAMABAD: Masood Ahmad, Director Middle East and Central Asia Department at the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Headquarters, called on Prime Minister Mohammad Nawaz Sharif here at PM House on Thursday.

Welcoming the Director, the Prime Minister appreciated the role of IMF in assisting Pakistan to achieve economic stability and said that the Fund program is on track for completion for the first time in the history of the country.

The present government is committed to further improve its economic performance; achieve higher growth rate; contain fiscal and current account deficits; improve monetary stability; and address structural issues, the PM stated.

He noted with satisfaction that during the last two and a half years Pakistan has been moving towards sustainable growth after successfully meeting the set performance criteria and indicative targets in collaboration with IMF.

The Prime Minister said that the government has achieved robust economic growth in the wake of improved medium-term growth outlook; sustainable fiscal and external positions. Liberalization of trade regime and improved business climate has attracted foreign as well as local investors to invest in diverse fields in the country, the PM said.

He highlighted that the main focal areas under the Fund program have witnessed notable improvements. Increase in tax revenue through tax administration; increase in Foreign Exchange Reserves well over $20 billion; resolution of energy issues including electricity tariff rationalization and reforms in the Gas sector have significantly contributed towards economic stability in the country, the Prime Minister said.

He said the confidence of the international financial markets in Pakistan’s positive economic outlook is a proof of our successful march on attaining long term economic stability.

He said the ultimate aim of the present government behind all these endeavours is to improve the standard of living of our citizens. To this end, he said the government is also pursuing its development agenda simultaneously for creation of economic activities and generation of employment opportunities leading to reduction in poverty.

Masood Ahmad appreciated the economic turnaround achieved by the present government and said that the development agenda being pursued by the government would further consolidate the gains achieved so far in Pakistan’s economy.

The IMF delegation included Head of IMF Programme Mr. Harald Finger and Resident Representative Mr. Tokhir Mirzoev. Minister for Finance Mr. Mohammad Ishaq Dar, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Mr. Ashraf Mahmood Wathra and other senior officials of the government were also present during the meeting.