International Monetary Fund (IMF) spokesperson Gerry Rice on Thursday said that one of the key elements of the IMF programme in Pakistan was the need to mobilise domestic tax revenue to fund the “much needed” social and development spending while placing debt on a “firm downward trend”.
The IMF executive board on July 3 had approved a $6 billion bailout package for Pakistan. While addressing a press briefing in Washington, in response to a question regarding whether Pakistan could be advised to cut subsidies and development spending to keep the primary deficit in line, Rice said that IMF Managing Director David Lipton had also emphasised the need to mobilise domestic tax revenue in an earlier meeting with Prime Minister Imran Khan.
Let me add that we expect an IMF team to be in Pakistan in the next few days, including our director for that area, Jihad Azur will be there,” Rice added.
On September 6, the finance ministry issued a statement in which they said misunderstandings had emerged in the media around the scheduled visits of IMF Middle East and Central Asia Director Jihad Azour and a technical team over the next couple of weeks. It had said the ministry would meet next week with Azour and apprise him on the results achieved so far. “However, this is not an IMF review mission as certain segments of the media have suggested.”