As the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan head towards a staff-level agreement, one of the conditions put forward by the IMF that is proving to be challenging for the government is the strengthening of ‘anti-corruption’ mechanisms.
As the Pakistani government could not complete the Structural Benchmark (SB) agreed by the then-Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government, the IMF is pushing to have the anti-corruption mechanisms introduced as part of the prior action list before reviving the bailout program, as per a report by The News.
Pakistan will have to implement certain prior actions with effect from July 1, 2022, including the enactment of the Finance Act 2022 after getting approval of the parliament, imposition of petroleum levy, and raising power tariff in a gradual manner. On the completion of these prior actions, the staff-level agreement may take place.
Claiming that the condition to strengthen anti-corruption institutions was not part of the mandate of the Fund, the Pakistani government has been vying for its exclusion from the prior actions list.
When questioned about this condition, an IMF spokesperson responded, “Discussion with the Pakistani authorities on the review continue and we do not comment on specific elements under discussion. In general, strengthening governance and transparency has been a key goal under Pakistan’s EFF supported program as these ultimately support robust inclusive growth”.