IMF raises Pakistan’s growth forecast to 4.3 percent

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund on Monday raised its growth forecast for Pakistan to 4.3 percent for the current fiscal year, up from 4 percent, praising the government for reviving investment in the country. The IMF met with Pakistani authorities in Dubai to discuss the latest review of the country’s three-year $6.8 billion IMF programme. The IMF also raised its estimate of Pakistan’s GDP for the prior fiscal year, which ended in June, to 4.1 percent from 3.3 percent. “The government of Pakistan’s reform programme was broadly on track through end-June,” Jeffrey Franks, the IMF’s mission chief in Pakistan, said in a statement. “Discussions will be continuing in the coming days via videoconference from Washington, DC, with the aim of securing a timely completion of the fourth review.” The IMF last approved $556 million for Pakistan in June, confirming the country was on track with the terms of the loan programme, which include cracking down on tax evasion and privatising unprofitable state companies. The IMF said it has been encouraged by Pakistan’s overall progress in pushing ahead with policies to strengthen macroeconomic stability and reviving investment and growth. Jeffrey Franks, who led IMF discussions with Pakistan on the fourth review of the $ 6.8 billion Extended Fund Facility programme, said “The mission made excellent progress towards agreement on key policy issues going forward.” Franks noted that “economic indicators are generally improving, with growth continuing to gain momentum, inflation on a downward trajectory, and credit to the private sector rebounding sharply.” 

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