‘Close’ to agreement with Pakistan on review: IMF chief – Wajobz

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Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva attends in a round table to discuss global economy during the New Global Financial Pact Summit at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, France June 22, 2023. — Reuters/File
Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva attends in a round table to discuss global economy during the New Global Financial Pact Summit at the Palais Brongniart in Paris, France June 22, 2023. — Reuters/File
  • Policy-level talks close to success, say sources. 
  • Windfall tax to be levied for financial years 2021, 2022.
  • IMF, economic team likely to prepare MEFP today. 

International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva said that the review of the policy talks with Pakistan is expected to come within this week.

“I expect an agreement of the review to come within this week. So any day now,” said the global lender’s chief told Bloomberg on Wednesday, as Pakistan inches closer to successful policy-level talks with the IMF. 

Meanwhile, officials privy to the ongoing talks between Pakistan and the IMF mission told Geo News, on the condition of anonymity, that Islamabad has agreed to impose a 40% windfall tax on the profits of the banking sector under the global lender’s conditions in a bid to secure the second tranche for the staff-level agreement under the $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA).

The IMF mission — led by Nathan Porter — and the Pakistani economic team have also completed discussions on all sectors, added the sources. 

The Pakistani delegation was led by Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar and comprised State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) Chairman Malik Amjed Zubair Tiwan, and officials from the finance and energy ministries. 

The sources further said that windfall taxes of up to Rs55 billion will be levied for the financial years 2021 and 2022. The taxes on the profits earned by the banks will be received in the month of December. 

According to sources within the Finance Ministry, the Finance Bill does not require any amendments for the imposition of windfall tax on the banking sector. 

“However, approval from the federal cabinet will have to be sought for the windfall tax,” added the sources.

Moreover, the IMF delegation and the economic team are likely to prepare the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) draft today, said the sources. 

The parties have also agreed to not increase the interest rate further, added the Finance Ministry sources. 

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