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Thursday October 28, 2021

No plan to hike power tariff immediately, says Shaukat Tarin ahead of IMF talks

Pak-China ties should not have an impact on the Pak-US relations, says finance minister

By Web Desk
October 14, 2021
Screengrab shows Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin speaking at the USIP ahead of crucial talks with IMF.
Screengrab shows Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin speaking at the USIP ahead of crucial talks with IMF.

WASHINGTON: The government will not increase electricity tariff immediately, Federal Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin said Thursday ahead of important talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The finance minister along with other senior government officials is in Washington as part of the sixth and seventh reviews of IMF’s $6 billion loan programme under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Shaukat Tarin, during an interaction at the US Institute of Peace, clarified that before increasing the power tariff, the government will take measures to contain inflation in the country, adding that the Pakistani government is in contact with the IMF over the matter.

He said that they were bringing in reforms to strengthen the country’s economy. Steps were being taken to privatise a few loss loss-making state-owned enterprises to reduce the financial burden, he said.

The government has put the country’ economy on the right track, he said and hoped that Pakistan’s growth rate will exceed by 5%. The country will soon receive IMF’s sixth tranche, Tarin added.

The finance minister said that they wanted friendly relations with both China and the US, adding that Pak-China cordial ties should not have an impact on Pak-US relations.

Pak-US relations should be viewed from an economic perspective rather than just security, he added.

The minister said that Pakistan also wanted friendly relations with all neighbouring countries, including India. Kashmir is the bone of contention between Islamabad and New Delhi, he added.

Talking about Afghanistan, Shaukat Tarin said that the Taliban’s government in Afghanistan is a reality and Washington will have to understand that Afghanistan needs aid on humanitarian grounds.

If the world abandons Afghanistan, it might be affected with expected anarchy, he said, adding that in this situation, Pakistan would be the most affected country.

Tarin said that Pakistan has addressed 26 out of the 27 action items of the Financial Action Task Force (FATF).

“Pakistan is being punished by some countries,” he said, adding that if this was any other country, it would have been removed from the grey list a long time ago.