Pakistan and the IMF were unable to work out their differences, which caused a big delay in an IMF mission coming to Pakistan to finish the 9th review and then approve a $1.2 billion loan tranche.
The details came out on Friday during a talk show on Express News called “The Review.” The show’s host, Shahbaz Rana, said that the last meeting between Pakistani and IMF officials didn’t go very well because the IMF asked Pakistan to do things that weren’t even due during the ninth review period.
Rana said that the IMF wasn’t happy with Pakistan’s plans for how much money it would make and how much it would spend, so it wanted more information.
He also said that the IMF had doubts about Pakistan’s claim that it could still bring in Rs800 billion in revenue from the petroleum levy in the current fiscal year, even though it had only brought in Rs47 billion in the first quarter.
IMF has asked the government to give details about what the four provinces plan to spend and earn, Rana said. It has also asked for details about subsidies and development projects, he said. Rana also pointed out that Pakistan’s economic problems have gotten worse because the country’s falling foreign exchange reserves have started to hurt the country’s ability to buy defence goods. He said that the reserves have gone down to $7.5 billion and that exports have dropped by 18%.
He also said that the government had set up the Reforms and Resource Mobilisation Commission (RRMC) to look at budget proposals, reduce the size of the informal economy, and look into whether or not the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) could become an independent body. Ashfaq Tola, who has been named head of the RRMC, and Mehtab Haider, a well-known journalist, both came as guests and talked about the issues.
The Finance Minister of Pakistan, Ishaq Dar, said on Friday that Pakistan will get $3 billion from a friendly country in two weeks.
Dar also said that all of the goals for the IMF’s ninth review have been met, so it wouldn’t make sense to give out a tranche.
Dar said that the IMF had been asked to release the tranche, but he also said that the IMF was acting strangely by not releasing a tranche even though all requirements had been met. But he said that if the money from the IMF didn’t come in, “we will make other plans.”