Transparency needed to fight corruption, says IMF chief

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ISLAMABAD: The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was asked an interesting question regarding the Panama leaks on Tuesday during a press conference in Islamabad alongside the Pakistani finance minister.

“How do you eradicate corruption or perception of corruption? Transparency…so that there can be accountability. It’s not a question of prosecuting, but it’s a question of honesty.

“Transparency, accountability. That’s the best ways to address those issues — whether its Panama, Bahamas, or whatever,” said Christine Lagarde sitting next to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, whose party leader faces allegations of corruption from the opposition.

“The progress of technology, the speed at which information is collected and disseminated, is going to make it more and more complicated for people not only to run but to hide,” she said.

‘Good future of Pakistan economy with continued reforms’

APP adds: IMF chief Christine Lagarde congratulated Pakistan for successfully completing its three years programme with the Fund.

Addressing the press conference, the IMF chief said that improved macroeconomic stability as well as strengthened external buffers and public finances would provide a solid foundation for the country s economy.

She said the removal of many tax exemptions and concessions coupled with higher tax collection has allowed for greater public investment and social spending.

She said that about 1.5 million more poor households were benefiting from targeted social assistance than three years ago, which she said was the success of the reform programme.

The IMF chief said power outages have gradually decreased in Pakistan and the financial performance of the power sector has strengthened while the government has implemented a country wide strategy to improve the business climate.

However, she was of the view that although many achievements have been made, there was still much more to be done to promote economic stability.

“Much has been achieved and much more remains to be done so this is Pakistan’s moment of opportunity to forcefully address remaining economic challenges and lay the foundation for more private sector job creation and higher living standards for all segments of the society,” she said.

She said that while the IMF supported programme has been completed Pakistan s partnership with IMF continues through ongoing close policy dialogue and capacity building engagements adding that the fund would continue support Pakistan to address economic challenges.

“I would like to reiterate the IMF’s support for Pakistan as the country moves forward to address its economic challenges and realize its vast economic potential,” she said.

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