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Pakistan likely to secure $545 million IMF tranche

February 5, 2014

Pakistan is likely to secure waiver on certain performance measures from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to get $545 million third tranche under the fund's $6.6 billion extended fund facility (EFF) approved in September last, Khaleej Times has learnt. According to sources in Pakistan's Ministry of Finance , talks with IMF on second review of the EFF plan began on a positive note in Dubai and will likely continue until Sunday. The IMF made an initial payment of $540 million soon after signing the deal in September. In December, Pakistan received $554 million as a second tranche of the loan. Federal Minister for Finance , Economic Affairs, Revenue and Statistics Senator Mohammed Ishaq Dar is leading the Pakistan delegation, which includes senior officials of the Ministry of Finance and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP). The finance minister briefed the IMF team led by its mission chief Jeffery Franks that the present government is following an economic reform agenda and nearly all the economic indicators were on track. Pakistan's economy grew 3.6 per cent in financial year 2012-13. SBP, country's central bank, projects GDP growth in the range of three to four per cent for 2013-14, which is higher than the IMF's growth forecast of 2.5 to three per cent. "The gross domestic growth in the first quarter of the current financial year 2013-14 rose to five per cent from 2.9 per cent in the same quarter in the last fiscal year," Dar said in a statement to Khaleej Times. Elaborating, the finance minister said large-scale manufacturing recorded 5.2 per cent growth during July-November period compared to 2.2 per cent in the comparable period last year. He said the arrival of important crops such as cotton had posted a growth of 7.5 per cent over last year while other crops were also likely to provide comfort to growth targets. Dilating on the external front, Dar said that exports were showing positive result at 3.2 per cent while imports increased by 3.9 per cent over last year. "Value-added exports are taking place which will further increase due to accessing the GSP-plus status," he added. The finance minister said the country's balance of payment position will improve further in the coming months as remittances rose 9.5 per cent while foreign investment inflows are likely to help build up foreign exchange reserves. Franks appreciated the efforts of the government and opined that macro-economic situation of Pakistan is favourable. "The IMF views that the government of Pakistan is fully committed to the reform agenda," he added. Franks appreciated the efforts of revenue collection by the Federal Board of Revenue and said Pakistan's indicators suggest that the economy is on track and its outlook is positive. muzaffarrizvi@khaleejtimes.com


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Source: Khaleej Times (United Arab Emirates)


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