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KARACHI: Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves fell to $ 2.92 billion approximately, which seems to be enough for not more than 20 days of import.

An agreement with the IMF is the right step forward although so far Pakistan and IMF have been unable to reach a Staff Level Agreement, said Ateeq ur Rahman, economic and financial analyst.

Under the circumstances the deal between Pakistan and IMF for a tranche of USD 1.2 billion would avert the following:

The threat of default will be minimised, increase the foreign exchange reserves, shall bring best impact on stock exchange and open the door to seek funds from lenders like China, Saudi Arabia, UAE and others.

Pakistan is facing economic meltdown compounded by a balance of payment crisis, record inflation and a serious fall of rupee, Ateeq added.

Pakistan had signed a $ 6 billion bailout package with the IMF in 2019, with another one billion added to the programme a year later. The first payment of $ 1.1 billion has been delayed since December. Up to now,

Pakistan broadly agreed to all IMF conditions. Hopefully the agreement is expected into effect as soon as IMF Board approves it and therefore Pakistan is committed to complete IMF programme and shall impose additional taxation measures of Rs 170 billion. Business community is not very happy with it, believing country’s economy cannot sustain Rs 170 billion new taxes

The business community is facing high cost of doing business with huge cost of production and it has become difficult for them to compete in the market.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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