- Says government will try to provide as much relief to public as possible
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Tuesday that the federal budget 2023-24 will be compiled by the government while keeping in view all the constraints facing Pakistan.
Speaking to Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) officials, he stated that the government will provide as much relief to the public as possible.
Speaking about the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, he stated that it is done between a country and the global lender independent of the government.
“The current programme was negotiated by the government and we have to continue it,” he said. “The good news is that the (measures for the) ninth review have been completed successfully.”
He noted that the wheel of Pakistan’s economy was sluggish at present which had reduced economic activity. The steep slide of economy has been largely arrested, the finance minister said.
He, however, reiterated that the country will not default.
“Our sovereign payments are being made on time and this is disappointing the internal and external enemies,” the finance minister said, adding that Pakistan will escape the crisis.
“We are taking timely steps for rollover of loans and payments of sovereign debt,” he said.
The government is set to present budget 2023-24 on June 9.
On Sunday, Dar said that the country will share its upcoming budget details with the IMF in order to unlock stalled funds.
“They have asked us for some more details like the details of (the) budget, we will give that to them,” he said.
Dar said he would want the IMF to release the funds before the budget was presented adding, “We will not do the 9th and 10th review together. This is unfair.”
The IMF’s $1.1 billion funding to Pakistan, which is part of the $6.5 billion rescue package agreed in 2019, has been held up since November. The IMF and Pakistan held two weeks of talks in February in Islamabad to conclude the 9th review, but the lender has not yet released the money, which is critical for the South Asian nation to unlock other bilateral and multilateral financing.