The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) managing director and the World Bank’s president have refused to meet the delegation being led by Finance Minister Dr Abdul Hafeez Sheikh in Washington. IMF’s senior deputy managing director Mr David Lipton however is scheduled to meet the Pakistani delegation today.
Meanwhile, during meetings with IMF’s lower level management, the organisation has agreed to provide technical assistance in areas of debt management, fiscal discipline and tax enhancements. Also, a schedule has also been agreed upon between the two entities under Article 4, to examine Pakistan’s economic progress. In this regard, a senior member of the delegation told Express that though Pakistan no longer needs to abide by the Standby Arrangement Programme (SBA) since the programme and its conditions no longer exist, but even then they have told the IMF that they will still follow its conditions. The member said that though IMF’s managing director Christine Logarde and the World Bank’s president Robert Vilke had refused to meet the Pakistani delegation, but nonetheless ‘highly successful’ meetings were held with other management officials from both organisations.
Sources said another meeting will be held today with IMF’s senior deputy managing director. They added that finance minister has met World Bank and IMF officials on the sidelines, while requesting them for technical assistance in three specific areas. Officials of the Pakistan embassy in Washington were unavailable for comments.
(With additional reporting by Huma Imtiaz in Washington DC)
Published in The Express Tribune, September 25th, 2011.