International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) review mission appears to be delayed.
Another round of engagement was held between Pakistan and IMF but the schedule for formal talks on the overdue ninth review could not be finalized and the review mission could be delayed due to differences over Pakistan’s assessment of flood damage and reconstruction and restoration.
IMF has asked Pakistan for data on priority expenditure on flood relief and rehabilitation costs in this year’s budget to make progress on the 9th review of the debt programme.
The progress made with the ongoing IMF programme especially the impact of floods and targets for the current year were discussed. According to Finance Ministry’s statement, “In this regard, engagement at the technical level shall be expeditiously concluded for proceeding with the 9th review.”
Pakistan will now represent all flood-related expenditures in the budget along with specific heads and schedules of spending.
According to reports, the Government had sent the report containing estimates of Rs251 billion which included reports prepared by the federation and the provinces.
In this report, it was estimated that the flood damage and rehabilitation expenses have been estimated at Rs251 billion out of which Rs 164 billion has been distributed so far. IMF was informed that Rs88 billion has been released by the Federal Finance Ministry, Rs3 billion by Punjab, Rs40 billion by the Sindh government, Rs25 billion by the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government and Rs8 billion by the Balochistan government. The remaining Rs66 billion will be distributed through the Kisan package.
But the IMF has objected to the report calling the figures unrealistic. It has said that the figures were neither consistent with the political statements nor did they match the reports of estimates made by international aid agencies on post-flood damage and relief.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday held an online meeting with IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter to end the deadlock with the IMF. The finance minister could not convince the IMF mission chief in this meeting of the estimate for the restoration of flood-affected areas.
Minister of State for Finance Ayesha Ghaus Pasha has expressed hope that the IMF’s review mission would visit Pakistan by the end of this month, she was responding to a question.
Under the program IMF’s mission was to visit Pakistan in October and Pakistan was to receive $1.2 billion by November 3.