Fiscal reforms to help Pakistan generate funding to meet SDGs targets: IMF official

Fiscal reforms to help Pakistan generate funding to meet SDGs targets: IMF official

KARACHI: The ongoing fiscal reform in Pakistan will help the country to generate funding to meet Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) targets under the UN 2030 agenda, said Athanasios Arvanitis, Deputy Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Referring to the IMF program with Pakistan, Arvanitis remarked that it is important for the government to focus on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the UN’s 2030 Agenda.

He noted that ongoing fiscal reforms will not only put Pakistan’s public debt path on a sustainable footing but also build the foundation for providing crucial funding to meet these targets.

He was addressing a seminar on ‘Managing Crises in Emerging Markets’ hosted by State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) a day earlier, a press statement issued on Saturday.

Athanasios Arvanitis highlighted some of the main similarities of crises across emerging markets, notably the role typically played by elevated levels of debt, high public and external deficits, inflexible exchange rates, lack of competitiveness, low saving and investment, and maturity and currency mismatches.

Despite these similarities, he emphasized that there was no one-size-fits-all model for managing crises. Instead, the IMF focuses on different dimensions while assisting a country in developing a homegrown stabilization program.

The approach emphasizes the need to diagnose the roots of a country’s crisis, trends and developments in the balance sheets of various economic agents and their interconnectedness, and country-specific dynamics that affect the political economy of reforms. In terms of designing stabilization programs, Arvanitis stressed the importance of country ownership and measures to provide support for vulnerable segments of the population.

He also drew parallels for Pakistan from the experiences of managing crises in other emerging countries.

Referring to the IMF program with Pakistan, Arvanitis remarked that it is important for the government to focus on meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) under the UN’s 2030 Agenda. He noted that ongoing fiscal reforms will not only put Pakistan’s public debt path on a sustainable footing but also build the foundation for providing crucial funding to meet these targets.

In his welcoming remarks, the Governor SBP, Dr. Reza Baqir, stated that the objective of holding the seminar was two-fold. First, to demonstrate that, in addition to its mandate of formulating monetary, exchange rate and financial stability policies, SBP endeavors to facilitate constructive debate on economic issues and is open to diverse points of view. Second, to highlight that Pakistan is not unique and there are many other emerging economies that have also faced economic crises and undergone difficult adjustments.

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