October 20, 2019 (MLN): Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Middle East and Central Asia Department Jihad Azour has said that the Reform agenda currently in place in Pakistan supported by IMF is the right recipe for improving macroeconomic stability.
He further said that the program will not only address some of the imbalances that we saw in the last few years, it would also allow the economy to be more competitive, and the creditworthiness of Pakistan will also be improved.
“A mission will go to Islamabad at the end of the month for the first review,” he added.
On asking upon how quickly can move from stabilization to growth part which is the second part of the program, Jihad Azour said, “So far, the progress that has been achieved goes in the right direction, it is too early to give a full assessment. We need to wait for the mission to go there and to do the due diligence work on the ground,” he added.
While appreciating the government’s commitment to the reform process he said that “we have now a couple of months — three months almost since the beginning of the program. It looks like things are moving in the right direction”.
He further apprised that the reform journey under this program is of two important tracks.
One is Macro Stabilization and for that there are a number of steps currently taken by the Central Bank on financial and monetary side and also by the Ministry of Finance on the fiscal side.
But, there is also an equally important track which is the structural reforms that will allow Pakistan economy to be more competitive by addressing some of the longstanding issues related to the weaknesses of some of their (inaudible), address of some of the legacy of the past like for example in the Energy sector and also strengths and institutions providing the right legal framework for the Central Bank, for the (inaudible), as well as other entities, and strengthening the cooperation between the federal state and the provinces.
This reform agenda is important because this one will help accelerate growth, provide the right framework for the private sector to operate, and allow the Pakistani economy that has a lot of potential insight as also internationally with her ability to export to benefit fully from the micro stability and from the structural reforms, he added.
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