Tarin in Washington as IMF talks move forward

Observer Report

Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin returned to Washington to join the ongoing discussion with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), his office announced.

Tarin at present is financial adviser to the prime minister as he had to be a member of parliament to retain the minister’s position.

“The adviser has returned to Washington DC to join ongoing discussions with the IMF,” his spokesperson Muzzamil Aslam said in a tweet. “Media reports related to inconclusive talks are baseless,” he added.

In Washington, Jihad Azour, director of IMF Middle East and Central Asia Department, told journalists on Tuesday that the talks between the Fund and the Pakistan government on the sixth review of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) had progressed to a “very good step”.

“The IMF mission to Pakistan and the authorities are currently in the process of the discussion around the sixth review of the programme.

And the discussions are progressing around the various pillars of the programme and the measures that the government of Pakistan is currently contemplating,” he told the news briefing.

“The progress has gone [towards] a very good step and the mission, with the authorities, are going through the various details,” he added.

At a news briefing in New York earlier this week, Tarin urged the nation not to get disillusioned by the claims that talks for reviving the IMF loan facility have failed.

“See, the talks are continuing and are continuing positively,” he said. “Some people have created an impression in Pakistan that we have failed, and the talks have been unsuccessful, that is completely false.”

The adviser said his meetings with the IMF managing director and other senior officials in Washington last week were very useful.

“So, we should not get disillusioned by the claims that the talks have failed. I do not understand what they base their claim on,” said the finance minister while rejecting such reports as “misleading”.

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