Food price to be stabilized in coming months, IMF told
Statesman Report
ISLAMABAD: Minister for National Food Security and Research, Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiyar on Friday said that food price in the country to be stabilized in coming months.
He stated this while talking to IMF staff Mission which called on the minister here on Friday, said a press release.
The senior official from Ministry of National Food Security and Research, Ministry of Finance and State Bank Pakistan were also present in the meeting.
The Minister informed the IMF Mission that the Government was taking all necessary measures for management of food inflation.
The Mission was further apprised that a bumper wheat crops was expected this year and there would no issue of wheat supply in the coming months, reports APP.
Govt wants IMF
to relax power tariff
hike condition
According to a media report, Pakistan has requested the IMF to relax the condition of immediate increase in electricity tariffs due to an already double-digit inflation and unfavourable political conditions.
The government has assured the IMF that it would adhere to the overall circular debt reduction plan and annual revenue requirements goal despite delaying the notification, sources in the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Energy told The Express Tribune.
After a steep shortfall in tax revenues, an ever-expanding circular debt remains another sensitive area during the ongoing second review talks between Pakistan and the IMF.
The government on Thursday reviewed its energy sector-related options during a meeting at the finance ministry that was also attended by Jahangir Tareen, the former secretary general of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh chaired the meeting to discuss different issues related to the power sector, according to an official handout.
The Central Power Purchase Agency-Guaranteed (CPPA-G) gave a presentation about the IMF’s demand to increase the tariff and the government’s alternative option, said the sources.
According to the IMF deal, the government will continue to notify tariffs for capacity payments on a quarterly basis shortly after the end of preceding quarter, and the next adjustment will take place by end-January 2020 – a deadline that has already lapsed.
The tariff update of January 2020 will incorporate the recovery from consumers of half the outstanding stock of the remaining Net Hydel Profits arrears, equivalent to Rs73 billion, according to the IMF’s first review report.
The sources said the authorities concerned asked the IMF to delay the new notification due to its overall negative implications for annual revenue requirements.
The proposed tariffs indicate increase in prices for domestic consumers but suggest some relief to those industrial consumers that are not taking any subsidy from the government.
The sources said any further increase for domestic consumers would create image problem for the government, which was already struggling to defend its policies in the wake of nine-year high inflation of 11.6%.
So far, the IMF visiting delegation was of the view that the government should stick to its targets and implement the power sector plan as per the programme design.
But the Power Division was betting that it can still achieve all the targets by delaying the new notification for a few months.