IMF deal imminent: Asad

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Staff Report

Peshawar

Finance Minister Asad Umar on Monday said that differences between Pakistan and the IMF had decreased following Prime Minister Imran Khan’s meeting with International Monetary Fund (IMF) Chairperson Christine Lagarde on the sidelines of the World Government Summit yesterday.

Addressing a ceremony at the Peshawar Chamber of Commerce, Umar stated that the meeting was merely meant to build common ground between Pakistan and IMF’s top leadership. However no deal was reached between the two sides, the minister clarified.

“IMF has changed its position,” Umar said. “It seems like we have come closer to reaching an agreement with the IMF, he added”

The IMF is committed in supporting Pakistan, Umar stated.

The prime minister had described his meeting with Lagarde as a “convergence of views”, while the latter assured him that the “IMF stands ready to support Pakistan”.

The finance minister added that Pakistan’s economic situation would only improve if the local business community and policymakers worked hard and made the right decisions.

Peshawar is a key trade point for South Asia and Afghanistan, the minister said, adding that Pakistan will do whatever possible for Afghan peace.

“Our exports have reduced, and we need to increase trade with countries within as well as outside the region.”

We are improving relations with east and west including China, Umar stated, adding that we need to increase trade with Afghanistan and Iran.”

We have issues with India but trade should be conducted as it will improve situation, the minister said, adding that he also discussed the formation of a strategic economic framework with the Turkish vice president.

The minister also reassured the traders that he would take note of their recommendations and present them to the prime minister.

The minister also highlighted on the need to improve the tax system and increasing the tax net for the progress of the country. He added that a pilot project will be introduced for traders in Islamabad first, after which it will replicated in other parts of the country.