Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has said that after completing the current International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, Pakistan is hoping to end reliance on the multilateral lender if the country achieved sustainable economic growth.
“I think this programme should be enough. If we start generating 5%-6% balanced [economic] growth, then I don’t think we need another IMF programme,” Tarin said in an interview with Bloomberg on Thursday.
His statement comes a day after the executive board of the IMF revived Pakistan’s $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme, paving the way for the disbursement of about $1 billion tranche. Tarin said despite commodity price shocks in the international market, the economy of the country would grow by 4.5 per cent to 5 per cent during the current fiscal year and by 6 per cent next year. “I am still hoping that it (growth rate) could be 5 per cent. It could be between 4.5 to 5 per cent,” the finance minister said, adding that the next year (2022-23) GDP would go up to 6%. He said that in the beginning, the growth was overshooting as exports were high; remittances had also increased, tax collection had gone up by 32 to 35 per cent, utilisation of electricity had gone up by 13 per cent whereas the corporate profits were at historic high. “We will be doing more than 5 per cent given the fact that last year’s growth comes now with the rebasing of the economy at around 5.57 per cent,” he remarked. Tarin said that since he became finance minister last April, the country had done a lot of consolidation through the IMF programme. He said, the country also had to face the challenge of Covid-19 and then the government focused on inclusive and sustainable growth. “We did whatever we had to in terms of giving incentives to our industry. Also putting a lot of money in agriculture and housing,” he added.