Pakistan, IMF close to signing deal

Pakistan, IMF close to signing deal

Pakistan's woes unlikely to end as budget contours may not please IMF.(photo:IN)

Islamabad, June 24 (IANS) There has been a likely breakthrough in Pakistan's long-drawn-out parleys with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the tightly-negotiated ninth review and an official announcement regarding the signing of the deal is expected soon, the media reported.
The development comes after a flurry of meetings between the two sides following Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif's huddle with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva, in Paris earlier this week, Geo News reported.
Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday narrowed down their differences after Islamabad offered to make adjustments in the budget and also immediately withdrew restrictions on imports.
Sources told The Express Tribune that the government informed the IMF that it was willing to make adjustments, both in the budget and taxation sides.
The offer was equivalent to around 0.3 per cent of the gross domestic product (GDP) but it was nearly half of the gap that the global lender had identified, they added.
The government offered to cut expenses by 200 billion PKR and impose new taxes of 100 billion PKR, the sources said.
The authorities were hopeful that if the ongoing round of talks remained successful and the staff-level agreement could be reached at the earliest, The Express Tribune reported.
The sources said that the things really moved at a fast pace since Thursday.
The Finance Ministry has not officially commented on the development.
The discussions continued until late Friday night after the IMF asked Pakistan to make further adjustments.
At the next fiscal year's projected size of the economy, the offer made by Pakistan was equal to around 300 billion PKR but the exact figure could not be verified.

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