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Pakistan

Ninth review: IMF delegation to visit Pakistan in 2-3 days, says PM Shehbaz

  • Says authorities also trying to mend ties with friendly countries that were angered by previous govt
Published January 6, 2023

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday that a delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Pakistan in 2-3 days to “undertake and complete” the crucial ninth review of the economy.

Addressing the public during the inauguration of the Hazara Electric Supply Company, he stated that he talked to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Thursday and stressed that Pakistan will complete the IMF bailout programme.

“I told her to ease the terms of the deal because I cannot burden the common man any further. We have imposed taxes on the rich strata of the society. I requested her to send a delegation for the ninth review and she replied that a team will visit Pakistan in 2-3 days.

Foreign exchange reserves at almost 9-year low level

“After inquiring about Pakistan’s relations with China and Saudi Arabia, she also told me that China had urged IMF to support Pakistan,” he said.

The IMF programme is currently stalled at the level of the ninth review, with experts suggesting that Pakistan is reluctant to implement some of the lender’s conditions over their effect on political capital in a year when elections are scheduled to take place.

Meanwhile, PM Shehbaz added that the government was trying to mend its ties with the friendly countries as well.

Forex reserves to be propelled by ‘friends’: Dar

“We should appreciate friendly countries for supporting Pakistan over the past few years but the previous government slapped allegations of corruption on Chinese firms and jeopardised the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).”

He stated that the former leadership “had angered friendly nations”, adding that the contribution of Saudi Arabia, UAE and China to Pakistan’s economy is priceless.

Dar addresses ebbing investor confidence

Speaking about the Hazara Electric Supply Company, he said once it is ready the region will no longer need to get electricity from Peshawar Electric Supply Company (Pesco).

“The particulars of the project will be completed as soon as possible and I want Hazara residents to take benefit from the scheme and own it,” the PM said. “The power company was demanded by the residents of the region when I visited it in May 2022.”

He added that he has asked relevant departments to resume work on stalled gas projects in the country and “the funds already allocated by the government will be used in their development.”

Why the IMF programme is crucial for Pakistan

Resumption of IMF programme is crucial for Pakistan amid a weakening rupee, dwindling reserves and worsening macroeconomic cues.

On Thursday, the foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) fell another $245 million to a highly critical level of $5.58 billion. This is the lowest level of SBP-held reserves since April 2014.

At the same time, the country has also failed to secure much-needed funding from friendly nations.

The struggle has left policymakers in Pakistan scrambling to arrange foreign exchange amid heightened worries over the country’s debt payments and ability to finance imports.

Moreover, market rumours of a possible default by Pakistan are also making rounds but the government of Pakistan remains optimistic that Saudi Arabia will offer crucial support for the foreign exchange reserves.

Recently, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar reiterated that Saudi Arabia “is expected to beef up its deposits in Pakistan in a few days”. In a press conference, he said that a rollover “is not an unusual thing”.

“All nations of the world opt for borrowing new money to pay old liabilities or they opt for rollover. We are opting for rolling over of deposits,” said Dar.

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R̸e̸h̸a̸n̸ A̾b̾i̾d̾ Jan 06, 2023 04:42pm
جی بلکل چھٹیاں ہیں زیادہ لیکن ابھی پنجاب میں سردی بہت زیادہ ہو گئ ہے جس کے باعث بچے بیمار ہو سکتے ہیں سردی اب شروع ہوتی ہے جنوری کے درمیان سے لیکن حکومت جو ہے چھٹیاں پہلے کر دیتی ہے جس کی وجہ سے ان کو چھٹیاں زیادہ کرنی پڑ جاتی ہیں اور بچوں کی پڑھائی خراب ہو جاتی ہے
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Notsurprised Jan 06, 2023 05:11pm
It is also time to mend ties with India. Kashmir issue is a stalemate. Let not lives of 220 mln people be affected for rest of time for something we could not solve in 70 years. Through peace, lives of all including Kashmiris, would be better.
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bonce richard Jan 06, 2023 05:33pm
You and your family stole billions of dollars no need to approach IMF. Everyone hates Punjabi people they are not sincere about the country.
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Power Master Jan 06, 2023 05:40pm
Shame on Pvt sector Can't earn forex by trade
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Mark Jan 06, 2023 06:34pm
I can live without: eating imported, cat and dog food , imported shampoo and soap, imported beans and mushrooms etc, SUV's, all cars above 1500cc, can walk 3kms r/trip for shopping grocery, don't want to shop after 8pm. Love to eat vegetables. I pay all my bills and taxes, don't get free electricity, water or fuel. stand in the line for my turn. stop at the traffic signal when red and don't pay graft. Let us all do this and make our country a better place. It is time to mend our ways.
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Peer K Jan 07, 2023 05:46am
Appreciate your out of line comments that economy was bad on 9th April 2022. 6% Growth rate , Export was booming, remitances were great & Tax collection at the highest level in the history of Pakistan. Sharifs 76 Plus 20 Cabinet is a disaster & Each cabinet having fully fuel covered SUV's on Gov expense. Where is auterity in Cabinet. The FISH Rot from head! You were so busy getting your, Ishaq Dar's & other Corrupted minister cases wiped out that you did not care about poor people who can not afford Rs. 400.0 per 20 KG Wheat. Resign & call for fresh elections.
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Taimur Khan Jan 07, 2023 02:28pm
Chines debt is crippling us. Free unrestricted imports are crippling us. Essential imports for industrial raw materials are also a problem because our industries are geared towards local consumers and thus are net dollar importers instead of generating dollars. Saudis and uae will now buy our assets cheap to bail us out creating further problems down the road. The only short term solution is to nationalize gold held by private individuals to bring down the crippling debt. Then insist our chinese friends let us export our products to them on war front to generate dollars in future. Restrict all luxury imports. This is the only solution.
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