Finance Division dismisses speculations on IMF Review

ISLAMABAD:The Finance Division Monday described as misleading and factually incorrect a news item published in a section of the press suggesting that tough prior actions [are] needed for the Internationally Monetary Fund’s (IMF) $452 million third tranche.

A Finance Division spokesman, in a statement, said it was completely normal for quarterly reviews to take sometimes a few days more than planned, which must never be viewed as something extraordinary.

The second and third quarterly reviews would be presented before the IMF Board separately as planned, he said, adding no decision had been taken for any prior actions.

China, the spokesman said, was Pakistan’s iron brother and there was no apprehension whatsoever on the rollover/refinancing of Chinese loans.

He said the article in question was equally ill-conceived in trying to portray that only a miracle could save the IMF programme.

“The IMF staff team had constructive and productive discussions with the Pakistani authorities and commended them on the considerable progress made during the last few months in advancing reforms and continuing with sound economic policies. All end-December performance criteria were met, and structural benchmarks have been completed.”

The spokesman made it clear that the government’s reform programme supported by the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) was on track.