Pakistan, IMF to sign deal this week, says Tarin

| PM’s Advisor claims all matters settled with the Fund except one issue

Says ‘enemy in 
the neighbour’ behind cyber attack on NBP

ISLAMABAD   -  Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin on Monday said that Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) would reach an agreement this week as all issues have been settled.

Policy level talks between Pakistan and IMF had started on October 13 in Washington. However, the talks were extended for a long time due to the differences on many things. Officials said there was deadlock between the two sides on the issue of granting autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), however, both sides have now shown flexibility on pending issues.

Tarin said the matters had been settled with the IMF, however, “There is just one issue and we are seeking a legal opinion on it, while everything is already agreed upon”. “There are certain conditions in the IMF agreement that require constitutional amendments and such changes cannot be effected because we lack a two-thirds majority [in the parliament],” he added.

The Adviser to PM further informed that there is a need to amend the State Bank of Pakistan’s law. However, the government does not have a two-thirds majority for the constitutional amendment. He further said that there would be no delay in the government’s employees salaries. The government’s job is to provide facilities to the people. “We are giving targeted subsidies to control inflation. It is a global problem and prices in the international market are out of my control,” the Adviser said while addressing the launching ceremony of the Pakistan Single Window (PSW). The PSW has enhanced its operations through addition of subscription and banking modules in its platform.

Talking about the recent cyberattack on National Bank of Pakistan’s server, he said that the enemy is sitting in our neighbourhood.

Shaukat Tarin said that the past two years have been difficult for global supply chains as international trade and transportation got affected by the disruptions caused due to the COVID-19 pandemic resulting in multifold increase in the cost of production and shipping. “The worst seems to be over and as economies begin to recover globally, we expect business activity to resume and in fact grow at a much faster pace. Pakistan and Pakistani businesses have to be ready for taking advantage of new opportunities”.

As a government, the Adviser said that our priority is to facilitate businesses including small and medium sized businesses by providing a suitable enabling environment for growth and innovation and improving their competitiveness by reducing the time and cost of doing business. He further said that Pakistan Single Window will provide a comparative advantage to Pakistani business and trading community to enter new markets and enhance exports.

The PSW will boost regional connectivity by effective use of ICT technologies ensuring enhanced facilitation for trading across borders.

Besides, he said it would also help counter financial crimes and trade-based money laundering through the integration of international shipping and databases and eventually enable seamless connection in the dissemination of information to Customs, State Bank of Pakistan and other relevant agencies.

The Pakistan Single Window enables parties involved in trade and transport to register standard information and documents with a single-entry point and thereby fulfil all import, export, and transit-related regulatory requirements. Previously, traders were required to secure approval from a variety of government offices, duplicating efforts and paperwork, which led to increased costs and delays. Today’s announcement rolled out the Subscription and Customs Registration system, along with the Commercial Bank integration module, which are the first steps in helping to reduce these costs and delays, and which will benefit consumers and businesses alike.

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