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ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Thursday that Pakistan, with or without the International Monetary Fund (IMF), would not default and shall fulfill all external obligations in a timely manner.

Taking to the media here on Thursday at the 3rd Islamabad Security Dialogue, he said that there is a plan for foreign payments of $3.7 billion in May and June and the country would not default. He added that China is expected to roll over another $2.4 billion. Dar said that budget would be presented on June 9, 2023.

IMF to discuss Pakistan’s FY24 budget plans

The finance minister said that there should be no discussion about the country’s default and stated that Pakistan has sought help from friendly countries.

He said that technical negotiations with the IMF were concluded on February 9 but there was a gap with regard to the external account. He said that Pakistan has complied with all the conditions of the IMF and has taken tough measures for the agreement in accordance with the Fund’s terms.

He said that the government is aware of the problems faced by the people. He said that the government wanted to take ahead the CPEC and wants Chinese industry to be relocated to the SEZs.

He said that the FBR’s tax revenue increased by 18 per cent, the current account deficit was in surplus in March 2023 and is also expected to be in surplus in April as well. He said that the government has introduced reforms to remove structural imbalances. He said that the priority of the government is to increase exports as it would help reduce the trade deficit.

He also recounted that the BISP stipend has been increased for beneficiaries and the prime minister announced austerity measures to reduce expenses.

Pakistan is focusing on economic diplomacy, he said, adding that Pakistan’s priority in South Asia is to focus on regional connectivity. He said that regional cooperation is important to tackle human and security challenges and Pakistan is actively leveraging its presence in the SAARC, the SCO, and the ECO.

He said that the CPEC provides an effective platform to convert regional connectivity into a global economic partnership. He said that due to rising interest rates and the Russia-Ukraine conflict, China’s reopening may positively impact growth in the coming years. He said that economic stability remains key to Pakistan’s stability.

He also blamed the previous government for poor economic policies for economic deterioration in all areas and stated that Pakistan faced huge economic losses due to floods. He said that the government is committed to achieving high sustainable growth, and an increase in exports to reduce the trade deficit.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2023

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Pakistani1 May 12, 2023 10:47am
I pray that this is not an empty promise Mr. Minister.
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KU May 12, 2023 11:23am
Please, God, take him away.
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Jhoota lol May 12, 2023 11:31am
LOL no one believes him and he has been disgraced in all circles...what life is he living
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Jani Walker May 12, 2023 02:32pm
This man is liar par excellence. He and he alone is responsible for the stalled IMF program. It is the PDM running around with the largest begging bowl that the Saudi's and Chinese have ever seen and yet they are not going to sink more of their money into a collapsing black hole.
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Abdullah May 12, 2023 02:50pm
For once tax the rich and landlord in Pakistan Charge real estate transactions at 50 percent so we stop buying plots on papers and use money for a better purpose.
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Tulukan Mairandi May 13, 2023 05:39pm
How about internal debt obligations?
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