Finance Minister Aurangzeb reveals a 3-year IMF reform plan

Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb stated at the Atlantic Council think tank in Washington that Pakistan needs two to three years to implement structural reforms prescribed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

He emphasized that Pakistan knows what it needs to keep the economy steady, which is the implementation of reforms, and stressed the urgency of moving from planning to execution. Aurangzeb, currently in the US for discussions with the IMF for a new bailout package and participation in World Bank meetings, warned that without undergoing structural reforms, Pakistan would continue seeking assistance programs.

He noted improvements in Pakistan’s economic situation in 2024 attributed to the nine-month Stand-By Arrangement program, including positive movements in GDP, agriculture, services sector, inflation reduction, and exchange rate stability.

Aurangzeb stressed the need for sustained macroeconomic stability, leading to talks with the IMF for an extended program, focusing on both stabilization and growth. He highlighted Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s strong endorsement of the structural reforms agenda. Regarding fiscal balance, Aurangzeb outlined plans to bring under-taxed and untaxed sectors into the tax net through digitalization and public-private partnerships.

He emphasized that transparency and client experience are crucial for rebuilding trust and confidence in the tax authority. Priorities with the IMF and World Bank include addressing climate change effects and promoting financial inclusivity to support Pakistan’s growth and resilience.

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