ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme will be restored this week, as all the outstanding issues have been resolved, a senior official said on Monday.
Addressing the newsmen after the launching ceremony of Pakistan Single Window, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Aziz said that the revival of the IMF programme is now a matter of a few days.
“I am talking about one or two days not more than that,” he said, adding that one of the teething problems with the IMF is that it wants the government to grant full autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) through constitutional amendment.
Since the government doesn’t have a two-thirds majority in the Parliament it is not possible for the government to make an amendment, he added.
“We [have] already explained to the IMF about the limitations of the government and hopefully they will understand our position,” he said.
The government is fully aware of the fact that an enemy from a neighbouring country can further conduct a cyber-attack on the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and the National Bank of Pakistan (NBP) websites and to avert them all the protective measures have been taken.
Tarin dispelled the impression that due to the recent cyber-attack on the website of the National Bank, the salaries of government employees will be delayed.
The State Bank and relevant departments are reviewing the security features of the websites of all banks to ensure their safety from cyber-attacks, he added.
The adviser to the prime minister said inflation is now a global phenomenon and just like other countries Pakistan is also affected by it, adding that to offset the impact of inflation on lower and middle income groups, the government will introduce targeted subsidies and soon the people will hear good news in this regard.
The International Monetary Fund has agreed to allow Pakistan utilise $2.78 billion, equivalent to Rs500 billion, for meeting the budgetary requirements, which were provided by the fund for combating the Covid-19 pandemic.
The IMF usually provides balance of payments support to the recipient countries but in special cases it allows the countries to utilise its resources for financing budgetary requirements, as well. Upon the request made by Pakistan, the IMF has agreed, in principle, and an announcement to this effect is expected along with the approval of the $1 billion tranche under the pending sixth review of the Extended Fund Facility.