PR No.76 Islamabad: April 7, 2016

The visiting IMF delegation led by Mr. Masood Ahmed, Director of the IMF’s Middle East and Central Asia Department called on Finance Minister, Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar here Thursday morning.

Welcoming the delegation, Finance Minister, shared with the visiting dignitaries, a brief overview of the economy saying that it was on the right track and all economic indicators were moving in the positive direction. The Minister cited the amount of revenue collection by Federal Board of Revenue and said that prior to PML-N government, the revenue growth used to be around 2.5 to 3.0%, which has now increased to 19.7%. There has been record revenue collection in the current fiscal year. Debt to GDP ratio is continuously declining compared to the previous years. Exchange rate is stable and fiscal deficit has been contained. He added that Pakistan has achieved fiscal consolidation without compromising on expenditures on development and social protection. The Minister said that Government has the desire to achieve 6-7% growth within its tenure and for the CFY 2015-16, it is striving to achieve a growth rate of over 5%.

IMF delegation praised the economic reforms undertaken by Pakistan and added that these have helped achieve macroeconomic stability which is now widely acknowledged. The focus of discussion on Pakistan at IMF has now shifted from economic stability to growth. The meeting noted that economic growth in Pakistan is better compared to most developing countries, which is laudable keeping in view the economic slow down experienced internationally. The delegation also commented that Pakistan has made remarkable progress in the on-going IMF Extended Fund Facility program. This shows how serious the present government is about economic reform, members of the delegation added. Now it is time for the government to consolidate the gains it has made so far, the delegation noted.

Discussion was also held on structural reforms in different sectors being undertaken by Pakistan with special focus on efforts to enhance effectiveness of Public Sector Enterprises.

Chairman Privatization Commission, Chairperson BISP, Governor State Bank of Pakistan and Senior officials of economic ministries participated in the meeting.