Tuesday Nov 09, 2021
Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance and Revenue Shaukat Tarin on Tuesday rejected reports regarding Prime Minister Imran Khan planning to seek the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief's help to resume a $6 billion loan programme.
On November 11, a local news publication had reported that Prime Minister Imran Khan has “dropped” a plan to make a telephone call to the managing director of the IMF, which the government had purportedly made last week to seek the official’s intervention to remove barriers to the revival of the deal.
The PM's aide taking to Twitter today rejected the news, terming it as "flawed and baseless".
"Such [a] proposal was never under consideration," he added.
The publication had reported that the adviser had said that there was no need for a telephone call to the managing director of the IMF.
Tarin agreed that such a question was asked during a press conference on the Kamyab Jawan programme.
He wrote: "The media reporters in the ‘Kamyab Jawan’ asked about PM's call to [the] IMF chief. My reply was that negotiations are in the advance stage and no need for [a] call."
The revival of the stalled $6 billion IMF programme for Pakistan hinges upon stamped clearance of the IMF’s two departments known as Strategy, Policy and Review Department (SPRD) and Legal Department.
Top official sources told The News in background discussions that the IMF’s Executive Board will approve getting clearance of the staff-level agreement and these two important departments.
The IMF’s SPRD is known for its role as a policeman within the Fund's staff. State Bank of Pakistan Governor Dr Reza Baqir had also served in this department during his career working in the IMF.
As per the report, Baqir knew how the SPRD and Legal Department deal with cases before sending them to the IMF's Executive Board.
“There is no need for a telephone call to the IMF’s managing director,” Adviser to PM on Finance Shaukat Tarin had said in a brief chat on Monday when asked whether there was a need for PM Imran Khan to call the IMF’s managing director.
“Now the ball is in the court of the IMF and the two departments are currently scrutinising the details before granting stamped approval, after which the staff-level agreement will be made public and placed before the IMF’s Executive Board for approving the sixth review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF),” top official sources confirmed while talking to The News.
Now, the outstanding issue is beyond the jurisdiction of the IMF staff and the mission chief working in Pakistan on behalf of the IMF. As per the report, all issues by the two have been reported and everyone is just waiting for the Executive Board's approval. If these two departments did not clear the loan, the approval of the sixth review may take a longer period to reach a settlement.
It is relevant to mention here that Tarin had publicly stated last week that the IMF’s agreement was expected in one or two days but the last week passed without achieving any success.
Now both the IMF and the Ministry of Finance are preferring to remain silent, knowing that both sides have done their share of work with the IMF staff reporting back all the details and now just waiting for these two departments to issue the clearance.