Islamabad: Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar Friday called on President Dr Arif Alvi and apprised him of the economic and financial outlook of the country.
The meeting took place at the Aiwan-e-Sadar, during which the federal minister briefed the President on various steps taken by the government to provide relief to the general public, particularly the unprivileged population and the flood-affected people.
The meeting came just a day after Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar held an online meeting with IMF Mission Chief for Pakistan, Nathan Porter.
In a statement, the Finance Ministry 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.
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 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.
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.