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Pakistan

Miftah hopeful over IMF board meeting on August 29

  • In press conference, finance minister says letter of intent will be sent back to IMF today
  • Defends hike in price of petrol, says no new taxes imposed
Published August 16, 2022
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Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Miftah Ismail on Tuesday said that he was hopeful the International Monetary Fund (IMF) executive board would meet on August 29, after which the process to disburse funds to Pakistan will start.

“There were minor edits that needed to be made in the Letter of Intent (LoI) and they were sent to the IMF," said Miftah while addressing an important press conference in Islamabad.

"We have received the new LoI from the IMF, which would be signed today and sent back to the IMF.

“We are hopeful that the IMF board meeting would be held on August 29, after which disbursement of funds will commence."

Extended Fund Facility: Pakistan receives Letter of Intent from IMF

Mentioning rupee’s recent appreciation, Miftah said that the dollar, which hit 239.94 last month, has been brought under control.

“From 1st to 15th August, the Pakistani rupee emerged as the best currency in the world, whereas Pakistan Stock Exchange (PSX) too, emerged among the best performing stock markets in the world.

“The rupee’s strength should reflect the strength of the economy, which at the end reflects the current account position,” he said.

The federal minister reiterated that Pakistan suffered a trade deficit of over $48 billion last fiscal year on account of an import bill of over $80 billion in comparison to exports of only $31.3 billion.

Petrol prices

On government's latest move to increase the price of petrol, Miftah reiterated that the government did not impose any new tax and that the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) determine price based on Platts (a provider of energy and metals information and a source of benchmark price assessments in the physical energy markets).

The government increased the price of petrol by Rs6.72 per litre, but reduced that of high-speed diesel (HSD) by Rs0.51 per litre.

After the revision, the new ex-depot price of petrol became Rs233.91 while the rate of high-speed diesel (HSD) went down to Rs244.44 per litre.

The old ex-depot price of petrol was Rs227.19 per litre while HSD was at Rs244.95 per litre.

“I did not say that the price of petrol will not increase. I said that I will not impose tax on petroleum products,” said Miftah.

“I am bound by every decision of the government and take responsibility,” he added.

Meanwhile, Miftah stressed that the government's next target is to control inflation.

"The risk of default has been averted, whereas Pakistan's bond yields have also improved. Our next target is to control inflation."

The finance czar said that three months ago it was difficult for Pakistani companies to open a Letter of Credit (LCs).

“Fortunately, the situation has improved considerably since then,” he said. "By curbing imports, the value of rupee improved."

Comments

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FCA Aug 16, 2022 02:59pm
We can only hope PMLN will keep Miftah in FM position and let him do the right things, rather than the popular ones. We are still vulnerable and need to keep strict discipline on subsidies and imports.
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Anwar Aug 16, 2022 04:31pm
Shameless guy has no self respect
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Usama Aug 16, 2022 09:36pm
These high-ups are not the victims of inflation instead the populace is. With a major dip in international commodities and especially in crude oil the benefit is not passed on to the consumer. Prices of staples are going up uncontrollably. Corporates are doing the same by increasing the prices of their products.
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