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ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday that political stability is inevitable to put the country on the path of development and at this critical juncture, there is a need to rise above “likes and dislikes”.

He said this while speaking at the meeting of the Apex Committee on the National Action Plan (NAP) and the National Counter Terrorism Authority (NECTA).

The premier expressed the hope that the issues with the Fund would be settled soon. The prime minister said that a friendly country, which was suggesting Pakistan revive the IMF programme, is now ready to help Pakistan and has recently conveyed the same.

He said that he himself has been receiving positive responses from friendly countries.

Forex reserves to get much-needed boost: China lends a hand amid IMF procrastination

The sooner the sensitive matters are resolved the better it would be for the country.

Reuters adds: Pakistan has to accept unwillingly the strict conditions of a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday, to provide a lifeline for an economy in turmoil.

Sharif was speaking to top security officials at his office in Islamabad in a meeting that was telecast live.

“We have to accept unwillingly the strict conditions for the IMF deal,” he said, adding an accord was still a “week, 10 days” away.

Pakistani authorities have been negotiating with the IMF since early February over policy framework issues and are hoping to sign a staff-level agreement that will pave the way for more inflows from other bilateral and multilateral lenders.

Once the deal is signed, the lender will disburse a more than $1 billion tranche from the $6.5 billion bailout agreed in 2019.

Pakistan has already taken a string of measures, which included adopting a market-based exchange rate; a hike in fuel and power tariffs; the withdrawal of subsidies, and more taxation to generate revenue to bridge the fiscal deficit.

Officials say the lender is still negotiating with Islamabad over power sector debt, as well as a potential rise in the policy rate, which currently stands at 17%.

The strict measures are likely to further cool the economy and stoke inflation, which stood at 27.50% in January.

The South Asian economy has been in turmoil, and desperately needs external financing with its foreign exchange reserves dipping to around $3 billion, barely enough for three weeks’ worth of imports.

A “friendly country” is also waiting for the deal to be confirmed before extending support to Pakistan, Sharif said, without elaborating.

Longtime ally China this week announced refinancing of $700 million, according to Pakistan’s finance ministry.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023


Comments are closed.

Pakistani1 Feb 25, 2023 10:52am
It is best to keep quiet and directly engage with IMF rather than making public statements.
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Zaheer Abbas khan Feb 25, 2023 12:55pm
Sir loan chaheye
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Shiteistan Feb 25, 2023 03:32pm
All soundbites. Don't believe a word he says. Why does he not ask his brother, the great quaid, to deposit a billion or so in Pak and also ask his great buddy, who's stomach he was going to rip, to also deposit a billion or so in Pak kitty.
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