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Minister of State for Petroleum Musadik Malik on Tuesday said that the government remains committed to addressing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concerns on the recently announced petroleum subsidy scheme.

Talking to Bloomberg, Malik discussed the country’s energy transition, debt crisis and fuel discount plan announced by the government.

“We originally thought that it (petrol subsidy scheme) was a much simpler idea, because previously when we were negotiating with the IMF and the bank was also supporting the negotiations, we put together a plan in which we charged a higher price for natural gas to the rich and lower price to the poor, so, in essence, we were subsidising the poor but charging a little bit more to the rich,” said Malik.

“Our proposal is exactly trying to do the same thing we did to the gas sector, and we thought we would charge the rich (consumers) a lit bit more, and the poor people would be given a little bit of relief,” he said.

Moody’s warns Pakistan could default without IMF bailout: report

On the reservations of the IMF, the minister said that the government remains “open to sit with them (IMF)” and satisfy their concerns.

“With our petroleum scheme, we saw that IMF had some queries and concerns, so we want to make sure, that if we move forward, we take care of their concerns and make sure that they (IMF) completely understand what we are trying to do and why,” he added.

The remarks come as Pakistan remains engaged with the Washington-based lender to resume its bailout programme that has been stalled at the ninth review since November last year.

Various measures including a floating exchange rate, additional taxes, and hike in energy tariffs have failed to convince the IMF to resume the bailout.

The minister said that the government “was able to take care of circular debt“.

“Right now there is a zero contribution to the circular debt, so we have ceased the flow of circular debt,” he said.

On the upcoming elections, the minister said he expects elections would take place towards the end of the current year.

“The term, if this current administration finishes around in October, that’s exactly the end of the 5-year term and the elections would take place exactly on time,” he said.

The minister admitted that inflation remains “high”.

“But it (Pakistan) was flirting with extreme economic difficulties when we took over, so we have been pushing the envelope and I think we are trying to restructure the economy as we go along. So we are reasonably confident that as we move forward we will be able to provide a little bit of relief,” said Malik.

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Turk Munday Maga May 09, 2023 01:10pm
Good news
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Nawaz un Sharif- HeapBigShit May 09, 2023 02:39pm
He was trying to fool the TMF. It did not work.
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Aamir Latif May 09, 2023 03:05pm
Please stop this crap of different rates of peyrol for ameer gharib, it's non starter anyway and good that IMF put the foot down.... Minister should be worried about dwindling Petroleum products mainly diesel sales cost significant revenue loss of revenue to GoP, thanks to smuggling and failure by our coast guards to stop it... Mr. Minister, your priority should be to revive Petroleum sakes to improve few avenues of GoP revenue recovery instead adamant to go with this stupid plan..
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Notsurprised May 09, 2023 03:20pm
Let it go! This man and Dar together have pushed us away from IMF deal for no apparent reason. Bring back Miftah, Khaqan Abbasi and other PMLN leaders who know how to get stuff done. This B team of PMLN is harming their own interests more than PTI could ever.
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John May 09, 2023 03:58pm
Fools are trying to fool the fools again!
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TimeToMovveOn May 10, 2023 02:55am
Utter nonsense.
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Tariq May 10, 2023 05:37am
Negotiations with himself
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Uzair Kapadia May 10, 2023 06:07am
@Kashif ALI, so you think that Imran Khan’s arrest does not have anything to do with the the market CFF selling by 450 points? Was it due to comment by world bank about Pakistan default or IS debt ceiling issue?
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