No need to go to IMF at the moment: Rana Afzal

APP: State Minister for Finance and Economic Affairs, Rana Muhammad Afzal Khan Tuesday said that there was no need at the moment to go to International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loans during the current fiscal year.

“There is no need at the moment to go to IMF for assistance,” he informed the Senate Committee on Finance, Revenue, and Economic Affairs here. The Senate committee, chaired by Saleem Mandviwalla, was attended among others by Senators, Ilyas Ahmad Bilour, Muhammad Mohsin Khan Leghari, Nasreen Jalil, Kamil Ali Agha, Osman Saifullah Khan and Mohsin Aziz and officials from Finance Division, Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and other relevant departments.

The Minister said that the government was well in position to meet all the debt and other liabilities, however added it had to take loans for development. Meanwhile, a senior official from Ministry of Finance informed the committee that “the indicators were not bad, so we were not in rush to approach IMF” adding the option of going to IMF could be taken if there was problem in balance of payment system. He informed the committee that the targets and indicators were well in accordance with the IMF expectations adding another review with IMF was scheduled in April this year.

Meanwhile, about payment of external debts, the committee was informed that the government had to payback $6 billion debt during this year, out of which $2.4 billion had already been paid and remaining 3.6 is to be paid by June 2018.

However the Chairman asked for providing details of money inflows and outflows of the country during next meeting. On issuance of bonds, the committee was informed that road-shows were conducted in Dubai, Boston, London and New York from November 23 to November 28, 2017 to launch Sukuk and Eurobond.

The government earned $2.5 billion, including $1.5 billion through launch of Eurobond and $1 billion from Sukuk, they said adding that the Sukuk was provided at 5.62% whereas Eurobond was given at 6.875 percent markup rate. On the occasion, Rana Afzal said that this time the bonds were issued at very good rates and it was also acknowledged by many countries.

Meanwhile, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) informed the committee that mechanism would be in place including automatic exchange of information and on-request, exchange of information to retrieve the money of Pakistani nationals deposited in the Swiss banks.

They informed the committee that exchange of information on request was bilateral arrangement with Swiss government while the automatic exchange of information was a multilateral agreement and any country member of this mechanism would benefit from such facilities. The FBR informed the committee that no request has been forwarded so far, adding that there would not be a fishing inquiry rather information of only required persons would be shared. On the Regulatory Duty, the committee suggested that issue of RD on tyres should also be resolved and suggested that the FBR should convene a meeting with stakeholders which would be chaired by Senator Kamil Ali Agha to resolve the issue.

On refund issues, the committee was informed that three out of four refund issues have been resolved while another was in process as there was some unverified information. Meanwhile, Auditor General of Pakistan Revenues (AGPR) gave a detailed presentation to the committee about the transfer of pensioners to Direct Credit System (DCS). The representatives of AGPR informed the committee that it would take about two years to provide pension through DCS.

Posted on: 2018-01-09T16:58:00+05:00