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Pakistan has made considerable progress in advancing reforms: IMF

akistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached a staff-level agreement. Source: FILE.
ISLAMABAD/ WASHINGTON: Pakistan has achieved all of its economic goals in terms of performance and structural benchmarks have been completed, according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission, led by Ernesto Ramirez Rigo was in Islamabad from 3-13 February for the second review of Pakistan’s economic reform program supported under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement.
In the end of review statement released on Friday after the conclusion of the ten-day visit, the IMF said that Pakistan has made considerable progress in the last few months in advancing reforms and continuing with sound economic policies.
It stated that steadfast progress on program implementation will pave the way for the IMF Executive Board’s consideration of the review. It added that development and social spending have been accelerated in implementing the program.
“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. The mission and the authorities made significant progress in the discussions on policies and reforms. In the coming days progress will continue to pave the way for the IMF Executive Board’s consideration of the review,” said Mr Ramirez Rigo in a statement.
“The macroeconomic outlook remains broadly as expected at the time of the first review. Economic activity has stabilized and remains on the path of gradual recovery. The current account deficit has declined, helped by the real exchange rate that is now broadly in line with fundamentals, while international reserves continue to rebuild at a pace considerably faster than anticipated.
“Inflation should start to see a declining trend as the pass-through of exchange rate depreciation has been absorbed and supply-side constraints appear to be temporary. Fiscal performance in the first half of the fiscal year remained strong, with the general government registering a primary surplus of 0.7 percent of GDP on the back of strong domestic tax revenue growth. Development and social spending have been accelerated.”
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