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Pakistan has made considerable progress in last few months: IMF

The International Monetary Fund says Pakistan has made “considerable progress” in the last few months in advancing reforms and continuing with “sound economic policies”.

The international money lender issued on Saturday a
statement at the conclusion of the IMF mission’s visit to the country. It
credited Pakistan with meeting the all end-December performance criteria and
structural benchmarks.

The IMF mission visited Islamabad between February 3 and
February 13 to initiate discussions on the second review of its economic reform
programme. The team was led by Ernesto Ramirez Rigo.

He said the team had constructive and productive discussions
with the Pakistani authorities 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,” Rigo’s
statement read.

 The macroeconomic outlook remains broadly as expected
at the time of the first review, he said, adding that economic activity has
stabilized and remains on the path of “gradual recovery”.

On the current account deficit, he said it has declined with
helped by the real exchange rate that is now broadly in line with fundamentals.
“International reserves continue to rebuild at a pace considerably faster than
anticipated,” the statement read.

IMF predicted that inflation “should” start to see a
declining trend as the pass-through of the exchange rate depreciation has been
absorbed and supply-side constraints appear to be temporary.

Fiscal performance in the first half of the fiscal year was termed “strong”.

On December 19, the IMF executive board completed the first
review of Pakistan’s economic performance under the 39- months Extended Fund

The completion of the review allowed Pakistan to draw $452.4
million bringing total disbursements to $ 1,440 under the $6 billion loan

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