ISLAMABAD: The caretaker advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance and Economic Affairs, Dr Shahid Amjad Chaudhry on Tuesday categorically denied signing any loan agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the economic team’s recent visit to Washington.
The team was invited from Pakistan to attend the spring meetings of IMF and World Bank held this week.
“IMF was encouraging in its comments about Pakistan’s economy and expressed an interest in engaging with the to be elected government,” he told a press conference on his return in Islamabad.
He said Pakistan’s economy has recorded a remarkable performance and is on its path to a recovery. The GDP growth during the current financial year is expected to be at four per cent.
Even though the fiscal deficit faced by the country in the financial year 2012-13 is to expected to be from 6.9 to 7.3 per cent, the caretaker and the new government would not have face the adverse effects of the balance of payment payment, he added.
However, Pakistan is going through an energy crisis and the caretaker Prime Minister had issued directives to release Rs 20 billion for the purchase of oil, he said.
The economic delegation from Pakistan included Chairman FBR, Secretaries of Finance and Economic Affairs division and Governor of State Bank of Pakistan.
The delegation engaged with the IMF on three issues with respect to the choices that the new government would have in negotiating loan agreements with the Fund.
If any loan arrangements are struck with the new government, the Fund has agreed that they would be to suit the elected government and the economy, he said. The repayment period would be somewhere between five to ten years as it would allow the government to handle the repayments more flexibly.
“It was also agreed that other International Financial Institutions (IFIs) like the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank would be willing to discuss their programmes with the newly elected government,” said Dr Shahid.
The third issue that was discussed, he said dealt with the additional requirements needed to meet social and educational protection by the new government.
Pakistan has never defaulted on a single penny and has made all its debt repayments well in time, he claimed.
“We didn’t sign any agreement with the IMF and it’s just a misconception of the press,” he said.
He added that it was not the mandate of the caretaker government to negotiate or pen any agreement with the IMF but the right of the next government.
“We will keep the economy of the country on track till we handover everything to the new government,” he said.
Advisor Finance Ministry Rana Asad Ameen was also present during the press conference.