IMF to consider targeted assistance for poor, flood-hit people: confirms Ishaq Dar

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IMF Dar

Islamabad: Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar on Thursday said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) indicated its willingness to sympathetically view the targeted assistance for the poor and vulnerable, especially flood-affected people of Pakistan.

According to a press release by the Ministry of Finance, Ishaq Dar held an online meeting with IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan, Nathan Porter.

During the meeting, the statement said, the two sides discussed the progress made with the ongoing IMF program, particularly the impact of floods on the macroeconomic framework and targets for the current year.

“[The] IMF indicated its willingness to sympathetically view the targeted assistance for poor and vulnerable, especially flood affectees,” the statement added.

The two sides agreed that expenditure estimates for flood-related humanitarian assistance during the current year would be firmed up, along with estimates of priority rehabilitation expenditure.

“In this regard, engagement at the technical level shall be expeditiously concluded for proceeding with the 9th review,” the statement said.

It needs to be stated that all the fiscal and monetary policy numbers (both past and future) are agreed upon at the technical level, leaving minor adjuments to be made at the policy level and then taken to the executive board of the IMF for approval.

All you need to know about Pakistan, IMF deal

Pakistan now has to represent all flood-related expenditures in this year’s budget, along with specific heads and schedules of spending. The concession had to be made after the global lender found the projected relief operation estimates of Rs251 billion or $1.1 billion “unrealistic”.

During the virtual meeting between Dar and Porter, Pakistan reiterated its commitment to successfully completing the IMF programme.

The statement marks a departure from the earlier position where the finance ministry was not willing to show the reconstruction cost in this fiscal year’s budget.

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