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Business & Finance

Miftah Ismail reiterates ‘IMF program on track’, dismisses reports of delay

  • Says he has been reading with some amusement all the tweets and stories about IMF programme being postponed or delayed
Published July 4, 2022

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail on Monday dismissed reports suggesting postponement of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, maintaining that the bailout remains "on track".

Taking to social media, Miftah stated: “I have been reading with some amusement all the tweets and stories about IMF program being postponed or delayed due to some anti-corruption law.”

The statement comes after some posts circulating on social media stated that the IMF programme has been “further delayed” due to negotiations pertaining to anti-corruption laws alongside other financial measures i.e. increasing gas and electricity prices.

“There is no truth to it,” responded Miftah. “The IMF program is on track,” he said.

The reports come at a time when the incumbent government has been actively pursuing the IMF to revive its stalled Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme.

Last week, Pakistan received combined economic and financial targets for the seventh and eighth reviews of its IMF bailout programme, said Miftah.

He said the government had received the lender's Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) for both reviews, following meetings last week between the two sides.

The IMF programme is widely seen as crucial for Pakistan's economy, which has struggled with high inflation and a widening current account deficit.

Last month, Pakistan and IMF made progress on the budget measures for 2022-23, with additional policy actions committed by Islamabad to revive the stalled EFF including generating more taxes and increasing petroleum levy from July 1.

The agreement led to the imposition of 10% poverty alleviation tax or super tax on 13 sectors, including cement, steel, sugar, oil and gas, fertiliser, LNG, textile, banks, automobile, beverages, chemicals and tobacco sectors.

Pakistan entered the 39-month, $6 billion IMF programme in 2019, but less than half of the amount has been disbursed to date as Islamabad has struggled to keep targets on track.

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