IMF asks Pakistan to reveal assets of baboos, their families

Pak-IMF technical discussions to conclude today n Fund shows concern over power sector performance

ISLAMABAD     -   International Monetary Fund (IMF) has called for Pakistan to declare the assets of government officials of grade 17 and above, as well as those of their families.

The talks between Pakistan and IMF continued for the third day here yesterday. Technical discussions between the two sides are scheduled to complete today.

The second phase of policy negotiations would start from next week and will continue till February 9 to finalise a memorandum of economic and financial policies (MEFP). Pakistan and IMF are reviewing the economic and fiscal policies and reforms agenda to accomplish the 9th review under the Extended Fund Facility.

In a major development, 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.

The lender has also set several conditions for resuming the bailout, including a market-determined exchange rate for the local currency and an easing of fuel subsidies. The central bank recently removed a cap on exchange rates and the government raised fuel prices by 16pc.

Further, the IMF brought up the importance of preventing corruption and ensuring accountability and urged Pakistan to fulfil the promise to establish a task force. The IMF has also expressed concerns over the performance of power sector. The Fund has also expressed concerns over the government’s plan to eliminate the power sector circular debt. Officials informed that both the sides are reviewing the plan to settle the circular debt and bringing mini budget to control the budget deficit of the country. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank have decreased by 16.1 per cent to $3.09 billion in the week ending Jan 27, the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) said on Thursday. The central bank said in a statement that the drop in reserves (of $592m) was due to external debt repayments. The reserves held by commercial banks stood at $5.65bn, taking total liquid reserves in the country to $8.74bn, SBP added. 

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