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Pakistan, IMF to ink much awaited deal ‘next week’

  • April 25, 2023

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.

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