Ministries directed to submit report on IMF targets

Sources say since many of conditions agreed with international money lender could not be fulfilled

Irshad Ansari September 15, 2019
The IMF mission would exchange views on macroeconomic situation with Pakistani authorities and other relevant stake holders. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: The federal government has asked all the ministries and divisions to submit report about the implementation of targets set for first review with International Monetary Fund (IMF).

With the help of the statistics provided, the finance ministry would prepare for talks with IMF review mission due next week.

According to the finance ministry’s letter, a copy of which is available with The Express Tribune, four-day talks between Pakistan and IMF on the extended fund facility programme (EFF) would start from Monday.

IMF staff mission headed by Director for Middle East and Central Asia Jihad Azour would arrive in Islamabad on Monday and stay here till September 20.

The IMF mission would exchange views on macroeconomic situation with Pakistani authorities and other relevant stake holders.

The finance ministry has written letters to Ministry of Power, petroleum division, investment board, Federal Board of Revenue, Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (Ogra) chairperson, National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) chairperson, Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP) secretary, privatisation commission secretary, additional secretary corporate finance wing (finance division), additional secretary international finance wing (finance division), additional finance secretary budget wing (finance division) and other relevant ministries and divisions.

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The letter has asked all the relevant ministries and divisions to submit details about the implementation on agreed structural benchmarks, indicative targets and performance criteria targets so that the updated data could be shared with IMF whenever the need arises.

A senior officer of the finance ministry informed The Express Tribune that since many of the conditions agreed with the IMF could not be fulfilled, Pakistan would try to seek exemption on the standards of performance. It is expected that the tax collection target of Rs5.5trillion would also be reviewed.

Sources said that the tax receipts during the last fiscal year had been Rs3825 billion against the projection of Rs4153 billion. The shortfall would effect the targets set for 2019-20 as the base on which this target was set had been changed.

Sources further said that FBI had failed to achieve its first target of Rs4153bn tax collection as agreed with the IMF till June 2019. The target for first quarter of the current fiscal year is also likely unachievable.

The finance ministry has written a separate letter to FBR about tax collections and maintained that under the agreement of provision of $6 billion from IMF to Pakistan, FBR has a target of Rs1076bn for the first quarter (July to September) of the current fiscal year.
The targets have been included in the performance standard and indicative targets for clearance of tax refund to the tax payers. In the first quarter of the current fiscal year, Rs75bn will have to be paid under the head of tax refunds.

The document said that under $6 billion loan arrangement from IMF, FBR had a target of Rs1795bn for the first six months of 2018-19, while the full year tax collection till June 2019 was agreed at Rs4153.
FBR sources said that the first performance target of IMF could not be achieved and that there had been a shortfall of more than Rs400 billion during last year.

They added that if additional revenue for current quarter is not collected, the tax collection target for current fiscal year would be affected as the target of tax receipts for current year had been set keeping in view the targets of last year.


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