Thursday June 01, 2023

Pakistan seeks US help for agreement with IMF

Ambassador Donald Blome calls on Dar; asks for reduction of tax burden on US companies operating in Pakistan

May 27, 2023
US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome calls on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on May 26, 2023. — Finance Division
US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome calls on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on May 26, 2023. — Finance Division

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan on Friday again demonstrated its desire for the completion of the ongoing IMF programme and asked the US to play its role in convincing the Fund staff for striking the staff-level agreement without wasting further time.

US Ambassador Donald Blome called on Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar on Friday and requested for reduction of the tax burden on certain US companies operating in the country, especially related to the beverages sector.

However, Dar, in the presence of the Special Assistant to PM on Revenues, did not make any commitment but promised to review it during the budget-making exercise.

About the revival of the IMF programme, the sources quoted the finance minister as saying that the ongoing Fund programme of Extended Fund Facility (EFF) was going to expire on June 30, 2023, so the IMF would have to take a decision for the completion of the pending 9th Review under the EFF programme. If the policy of no action continued on the part of the IMF, then the programme would end in smoke.

An official statement issued by the Ministry of Finance said US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome called on Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar. The finance minister welcomed Ambassador Donald Blome and shared deep-rooted historic and durable bilateral relations with the United States on economic and trade fronts. He also shared economic policies and priorities of the government to address the challenging economic environment and bring about economic stability and growth, it added.

It said the two sides exchanged views on matters of mutual interest and enhancing the existing bilateral relations between both the countries. The finance minister informed the US envoy about the government’s pragmatic plans related to revenues and expenditures for meeting its national as well as international financial obligations and shared various economic avenues in which both countries can further deepen their economic relations, it added.

“The finance minister also informed the envoy about the ongoing IMF programme and assured the dedication of the government to complete the programme,” the statement said.

US Ambassador Donald Blome underscored that both countries enjoy good relations and expressed confidence in the policies and programmes of the government for economic sustainability and socio-economic uplift of masses, it said, adding that the envoy extended his support to further promote bilateral economic, investment, and trade relations between both US and Pakistan.

Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar thanked the US ambassador and reiterated the government’s desire to further deepen bilateral trade and investment ties with the US, the statement said.