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Sunday, April 14, 2024

IMF demands to declare assets of Pakistan’s civil servants

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has demanded Pakistan to amend laws for assets declaration of civil servants.

An IMF mission arrived in Pakistan on January 30 for the ninth review of the  $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program. According to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the IMF demands a public declaration of the civil servants’ assets to revive the stalled $ 7 billion program. Moreover, international lenders have also insisted to acquire details of the overseas assets of the bureaucracy. In addition to this, the Fund has been directed to establish an authority that could declare the civil servants ’ assets publicly.

Similarly, the international lender has asserted to make movable and immovable assets of bureaucrats overseas to ensure transparency and accountability, through an Electronic Assets Declaration System.

The FBR officials said;

“Bureaucrats’ assets will be checked prior to the opening of a bank account, and banks will get information from the FBR for the opening of accounts of bureaucrats.”

The statement further read;

“All 17 to 22 Grade officers have to provide all information before opening a bank account”

Conditions for Pakistan:

Earlier, the Fund had demanded to impose an additional tax of Rs 600-800 billion to revive the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) stalled since November 2022. Likewise, the government removed an unofficial cap on the US dollar and raised the fuel prices as per the conditions set by the Fund.

Read more: IMF mission arrives in Pakistan for the 9th review

Pakistan received a $6 billion IMF bailout in 2019, which was later expanded to $7 billion. However, the disbursements stopped in November last year. The country’s foreign exchange reserves have depleted to $3.7 billion, which is not enough to cover three weeks of imports. In such a situation, Pakistan desperately needs to complete the ninth review and revive the stalled $1.2 billion disbursements, and unlock the foreign inflows.

The Fund and the Pakistani government will hold technical talks for the first four days of the meeting, where economic data from various departments would be reviewed. The technical level talks would continue till Friday, 3rd February. Similarly, the second phase of policy negotiations will continue till 9th February when a memorandum of economic and financial policies (MEFP) would be finalized.