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Govt & IMF will be able to conclude deal before June

Govt & IMF will be able to conclude deal before June

WASHINGTON: President Asian Development Bank Takehiko Nakao has appreciated the reform process in Pakistan and assured continued support of the bank. He was talking to Finance Minister Asad Umar in Washington.

The two sides discussed continuation of Pakistan’s ongoing engagement with the Asian Development Bank.

The Finance Minister apprised the President Asian Development Bank of the current macro-economic situation in the country.

Earlier, the Finance Minister reviewed the World Bank’s Pakistan portfolio in a meeting with the World Bank team led by its Vice President for South Asia Hartwig Schafer.

They discussed the pipeline of projects as well as the sectors where World Bank could further scale up its interventions in Pakistan.

The Finance Minister also held a meeting with a team of World Bank’s Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency led by its Chief Operating Officer Vijay Iyer.

The two sides shared views about the privatization policy of the government and the expansion of public private partnership framework in the country.

The MIGA team apprised the Finance Minister of its current engagements in Pakistan. They informed that MIGA is now looking to expand its portfolio in the country.

Moreover, Pakistan and International Monitory Fund (IMF) have reportedly finalised the talks for the next bailout programme and have agreed to move forward towards the staff level agreement, it has been learnt.

According to sources, after the positive talks with the IMF officials in Washington, the Fund would be sending its mission to Pakistan this month to finalize the agreement.

“We can say that both sides have finalized talks after which the staff level mission will be visiting to finalize the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP), to be presented the same to IMF Board for a final agreement,” said an official. “With the finalization of the remaining process, the final agreement for next bailout package will most likely conclude near June/before next financial year.”

The financial budget of 2019-20 will be made in light of the IMF programme, he claimed.

Meanwhile, on the sidelines of the Finance Minister’s meetings during the IMF/WB spring meetings in Washington DC, the Finance Minister met the US Treasury.

He apprised them about the macroeconomic situation in the country, the reform efforts as well as measures being taken to strengthen the anti-money laundering legal and enforcement framework.

The Finance Minister also held a meeting with his Saudi counterpart Mohammed Al-Jadaan.  The Saudi Finance Minister apprised the Finance Minister Asad Umar of increasing growth momentum of Saudi economy and potential employment opportunities for Pakistani construction workers in Saudi Arabia.