September 28, 2021: Ms. Esther Perez Ruiz, the nominated Resident representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) paid a courtesy call on the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Mr. Shaukat Tarin at the Finance Division.
The Finance Minister felicitated the nominated Resident representative and expressed his best wishes for her upcoming assignment beginning in November 2021.
While extending a warm welcome, the Finance Minister stated that Pakistan is firmly committed to pursuing an all-inclusive and sustainable economic growth with a key focus on a “bottom-up” approach to uplift marginalized segments of the society. To this end, the Government intends to engage development partners to broaden economic development through fiscal consolidation and prudent economic measures amid the COVID-19 pandemic and in the post-COVID-19 scenario. He commended IMF for extending timely assistance during testing times.
The Finance Minister underlined the key initiatives of the Government to provide maximum relief to the masses. The Government is taking a range of administrative, policy, and relief measures to absorb the upward pressure on prices of basic food commodities due to pandemic. The Government has adopted a multi-pronged strategy to enhance revenue collection and to broaden the existing tax base. He also highlighted the commendable performance of FBR in surpassing revenue collection targets in recent months despite ongoing COVID-19. The broadening of the tax base is one of the key priorities of the Government, he added.
Finance Minister assured that the government is committed to the IMF program and hopes to successfully complete the upcoming review as well as Article IV consultations.
Finance Minister informed that implementation of track and trace for tobacco is being started from 1st October 2021. This is also one of the requirements under the IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program. He also stated that reforms were being carried out in the power sector to address the issue of circular debt.
The new representative of IMF commended the efforts of Pakistan in managing the spread of the virus through a series of smart and targeted lockdowns to strike a balance between lives and livelihoods. She expressed hope to work closely with the Government of Pakistan during her tenure.
The Finance Minister affirmed full support and facilitation to Ms. Ruiz and wished her well with her new assignment in Pakistan. Ms. Ruiz was accompanied by the Outgoing representative of IMF Ms. Teresa Sanchez on the occasion. Ms. Ruiz is currently visiting Pakistan on a pre-assignment mission.