Islamabad [Pakistan], February 4 (ANI): International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked Pakistan to declare the assets of government officials of grade 17 and above, as well as those of their families, Pakistan based The Nation newspaper reported.
The talks between Pakistan and IMF continued for the third day in Islamabad on Friday. Technical discussions between the two sides are scheduled to complete on Saturday, according to The Nation.
The second phase of policy negotiations will start from next week and will continue till February 9 to finalize a memorandum of economic and financial policies (MEFP). Economic and fiscal policies and reforms agenda are being discussed by Pakistan and IMF to accomplish the 9th review under the Extended Fund Facility.
The IMF has urged for the mandatory declaration of assets by high-ranking officers and their families holding positions of grade 17 and above. To facilitate this process, guidelines will be established to allow law enforcement agencies to access these assets, according to The Nation.
Several conditions have been set by IMF for resuming the bailout, including a market-determined exchange rate for the local currency and an easing of fuel subsidies. The country's central bank recently removed a cap on exchange rates and the government raised fuel prices by 16 per cent.
The IMF brought up the importance of preventing corruption and ensuring accountability and urged Pakistan to fulfil the promise to establish a task force.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was giving Islamabad a tough time on the bailout, reported Geo News.
"As we speak, an IMF delegation is in Islamabad and giving a very tough time to the finance minister and his team. I will not go into detail about this further but our economic challenges are unimaginable. The IMF conditions which we have to fulfil are beyond imagination but we have to do it," said Shehbaz Sharif.
Pakistan secured a USD six billion IMF bailout in 2019, which was topped up with another USD one billion last year.
An IMF delegation is in Pakistan to restart stalled talks for releasing the USD one billion loan. A team of the IMF, headed by Mission Chief Nathan Porter, is currently in Pakistan holding parleys for the ninth review which will continue till February 9.
After months of reluctance, the country's depleting forex reserves and worsening economic situation forced the government to accept all the conditions set by the Washington-based lender.
A staff-level agreement is expected after the conclusion of the talks under the USD 6.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
Meanwhile, the Pakistani Rupee plunged to a historic low against the dollar after Shehbaz commented that the IMF is giving Pakistan "a tough time" and the lender's demands to do more on the economic front, reported Geo News. (ANI)