In the aftermath of recent terrorist attacks in different parts of Pakistan, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has refused to visit Islamabad for holding next round of talks with Pakistani authorities so both sides decided to hold upcoming due parleys at Dubai by end of March or April 2017.
Earlier, the talks scheduled to take place at Islamabad in last week of February 2017 were postponed at the eleventh hour when wave of terrorist attacks were occurred in different parts of the country.
Now the IMF’s Security Assessment Staff did not grant permission to their team to visit Islamabad so the venue of next round of talks was changed and it was decided that next round of parleys under Article IV would be held outside Pakistan.
“Pakistan and the IMF teams might be holding meeting at Dubai by end of March or April 2017 but exact schedule and dates had not yet been finalised,” official sources told The News here on Wednesday.
This scribe sent out written question to the IMF’s office in Islamabad on Tuesday to get their viewpoint but could not get reply after waiting for two days till filing of this report.
However, Pakistani officials confirmed that the next round of talks would be held at Dubai with the IMF team as they were not allowed to visit Islamabad.
All member countries of the IMF require obtaining clean chit on the economic health of the country which is done once on yearly basis.
After saying goodbye to the IMF after expiry of last programme, Pakistan and the Fund staff would be holding the next meeting ahead of preparation of next budget 2017-18.
The engagement with the IMF and its certificate on good economic health will be quite crucial for Pakistan in order to get more concessional loans from other multilateral donors such as the World Bank and Asian Development Bank.
When the officials were asked about holding of talks under Post Programme Monitoring (PPM) as Islamabad had obtained more loans than its quota, the official said that the PPM talks would be held after the upcoming budget.
On economic front, the mounting pressures on twin deficits, current account deficit (CAD) and budget deficit were causing worrisome for the economic managers as it was going up with every passing month.
The headline inflation measured by Consumer Price Index (CPI), Wholesale Price Index (WPI) and Sensitive Price Index (SPI) for the month of February 2017 increased to 4.2 percent, 5.3 percent and 1.1 percent, respectively on account of increase in food inflation by 3.7 %, non-food 4.6%, and core 5.3%.