Interior minister says govt is bound to fulfil Fund’s conditionalities to avoid bankruptcy n Caretaker setup to be announced after August 16: Rana Sana n Pakistan expects deal with IMF as prior actions met n Ishaq Dar says Islamabad has shared external financing plan with the Fund.
FAISALABAD/ISLAMABAD – Federal Interior Minister Rana Sana Ullah Khan said Monday that the agreement with International Monetary Fund (IMF) would be inked formally during next week as the government has fulfilled its all required conditionalities and after it a tangible relief could be passed on to the public.
Addressing a public gathering near Kamal Pur, he said that the public had entrusted him the job to restore law order and he would try to fulfill their expectations. He said that he spent four years in opposition but he remained steadfast with his party leadership. He was implicated in false cases but he proved his allegiance to the PML-N leadership.
He said that four years ago Imran Khan was imposed on the country, adding that he (Imran) was not a political personality. When he was in the government, he refused to talk to the opposition and now when he is in the opposition, he was opposing dialogue, which was necessary to cultivate democratic culture in the country.
The minister said that the politicians have difference of opinion but this difference should not be converted into personal enmity as we could not run the society in a state of hate and hatred. He said that Imran Khan has transformed political difference to the personal enmity.
Rana Sana Ullah said that Nawaz Sharif as prime minister had privilege to attain atomic power. He had accomplished a large number of mega projects including motorways, metro and highways but Imran Khan failed to initiate even a single project. His claim of 5 million houses and 10 million jobs had ended into a drain. During his tenure of 4 years, Imran Khan promoted politics of victimisation which had shaken our political and social fabric.
He said that when his political allies left Imran Khan due to his poor performance, then he was removed from the Prime Minister-ship through vote of No-Confidence. He was the first Prime Minister who was voted out through a democratic process of no confidence. Later, PML-N formed a coalition government to put the country on right track.
The minister said that Imran Khan made an agreement with the IMF and present government has to implement its harsh conditionalities in the form of enhancing electricity and gas tariff which fomented inflation in the country. “We are bound to fulfill these conditionalities to avoid bankruptcy,” he clarified. “This government worked hard with full sincerity and we are expecting that formal agreement with IMF will be inked during next week and then we would be in a position to give relief to the masses” he added.
He said that Imran was responsible to push the country at the verge of default but the present government was trying to avoid it. On the other side, Imran Khan again created uncertainty, chaos and anarchy in the country by staging long-march. He added that Imran Khan was now demanding elections only in Punjab. If his demand was accepted, how the other provinces would accept the results of general elections. No doubt fair and free elections were imperative but it should be held simultaneously throughout the country, he added.
He said that the national assembly would complete its five year term on August 16 after which a caretaker setup would be established to conduct fair and free elections. He was optimistic that PML-N would emerge victorious in this election and restart the journey towards growth from where it had left.
Rana Sana Ullah recalled that during PML-N previous tenure, the flour was available at Rs.35 per kg (kilogram), sugar at Rs.50 per kg and dollar was at Rs.112. He said that PML-N has potential to pull Pakistan out of crises.
He further claimed that Nawaz Sharif would lead the election campaign for the next general elections.
About his constituency, Rana Sana Ullah said that Rs.4000 million had been spent on the uplift of schemes in this constituency. He was making continuous efforts to resolve its major issues to transform it into a very good constituency, he added.
Meanwhile, Pakistan is expecting for early staff level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as the government has met all prior actions.
An official of the Ministry of Finance informed The Nation yesterday that there is no reason for IMF for further delay in finalizing staff level agreement. He was optimistic for early staff level agreement, which would pave way for getting approval of loan tranche from the executive board of the IMF. He said that the government had already met all prior action of the Fund.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday claimed that all the conditions for signing a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund have been fulfilled by Pakistan. Islamabad has shared external financing plan with the Fund. Saudi Arabia and the UAE have informed the IMF about the financing facility they have extended to Pakistan. Saudi Arabia has confirmed to provide $2 billion to Pakistan, and the UAE has confirmed to provide $1 billion.
Pakistan and IMF have yet to reach a staff level agreement as both sides are continuously negotiating since January 31 this year. The government had met all prior actions of the IMF. The government has taken all tough decisions including increasing power and gas prices massively and imposing new taxation measures worth of Rs170 billion. Pakistan had accepted two more conditions. The government, on the IMF demand, has imposed a surcharge of up to Rs3.23 per unit on electricity consumers across the country from July 1. The State Bank of Pakistan has also increased the interest rate on the direction of the IMF.
The revival of the IMF programme would provide one billion dollars inflows to Pakistan but it would also pave way for getting funds from other bilateral and multilateral sources to increase its foreign exchange reserves. Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank have increased to $4.4 billion after receiving $300 million loan from China in last week.
The pace of foreign borrowing has slowed down mainly due to the absence of IMF loan programme as Pakistan received only $7.76 billion in nine months, which was not enough to build the country’s foreign exchange reserves. The government had budgeted foreign assistance of $22.817 billion for the current fiscal year. However, it has received only 34 percent ($7.76 billion) of the annual projected amount in nine months (July to March) of the current fiscal year due to the suspension of IMF’s loan programme that dried all the foreign inflows. The volume of loan was not enough to build the country’s foreign exchange reserves, which got reduced mainly due to the repayment against previous loans. The inflows are expected to accelerate after revival of IMF’s programme.