Islamabad, Sep 6 (IANS) In the wake of worsening fiscal front of the economy, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has decided to send an ‘SOS’ mission to Pakistan this month for suggesting ways and means to curtail the budget deficit, it was reported on Friday.
The IMF team, which will visit Pakistan from September 16-20, will discuss fiscal issues with special focus to restrict target of primary deficit within the desired limits, Teresa DabánSanchez, IMF Resident Chief in Pakistan, told The News International on Thursday night.
According to sources, the technical mission will be providing assistance to the Ministry of Finance and other ministries/departments on tax and non-tax revenue collection, fixing cash bleeding state-owned entities and devising strategy on issues related to central bank front.
Pakistan has initially tabled an option of renegotiating targets envisaged under the IMF programme in the context of emerging new realities on fiscal front as the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) quarterly target has been requested to revise downward from 1.071 trillion Pakistani rupees to over 1 trillion Pakistani rupees for end September 2019.
During a video conference held between Pakistan and the IMF team on Wednesday night, the Fund expressed its serious concerns over sharp rise in the budget deficit in the last fiscal year ended on June 30, 2019.
The IMF’s review was expected to take place in November but the decision of dispatching this technical mission suggests that the IMF was not happy with massive slippages on fiscal front, the sources added.