ISLAMABAD : The first day of talks between Pakistani officials and a delegation of the International Monetary Fund concluded in Islamabad on Thursday, sources within the Ministry of Finance.
The finance secretary led Pakistani side during the talks in Islamabad, whilst country director Herald Finger headed the IMF delegation.
The sources said that Thursday’s talks were post-programme and staff-level, adding that similar rounds of talks were held in Washington during the tenure of caretaker government.
The talks will continue for a week, the sources said, adding that Thursday’s meeting reviewed the challenges facing Pakistan.
The IMF mission is also expected to hold talks with officials of the ministries of finance, trade, petroleum, investment and power.
They will also meet officials of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), sources said.
Regarding the IMF mission’s visit, Finance Minister Asad Umar during an interview last week said, “We are in discussion with them, but this is not to negotiate for a loan. Our purpose is to do our homework, in case we want to approach them at some stage.”
Umar also dispelled the notion that Pakistan is facing a financial emergency and said that there is no need to rush to the IMF for a bailout.
“Pakistan is not in an emergency situation that requires it to rush to the IMF to seek a bailout,” the finance minister said during an interview with Arab News.
“We have neither stopped imports nor imposed financial sanctions,” he continued.
However, the finance minister emphasised, “We need to take well-measured decisions. As a situation emerges, we take steps to manage it. We don’t want to take decisions in emergency.”