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Delay in IMF programme ‘unprecedented’, says Dar

  • Finance minister believes there is no technical reason for the delay
  • Slams 'pseudo-intellectuals' who have predicted country will default
Published June 3, 2023

Federal Minister for Finance Ishaq Dar on Saturday said the persistent delay in resumption of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme is “unprecedented”, a remark that comes as Pakistan stays in wait for completion of the ninth review of the bailout since November last year.

“There is no technical reason for the delay (in the resumption of the IMF programme), which is unprecedented. We are the only one (PML-N) in Pakistan’s history that successfully completed the IMF programme of 2013-16,” said Dar while talking to a delegation from the Karachi Chamber of Commerce & Industry (KCCI) on budget proposals at the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) headquarters in Islamabad.

Pakistan’s bailout programme with the IMF has been stalled at the ninth review, while talks on the staff-level agreement have dragged on over securing necessary financing assurances to bridge the balance of payments gap.

Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha said on Thursday that the delay is because the IMF not ready to reduce the external financing requirement to $3 billion, categorically stating that there is no Plan-B (without the programme).

Dar on Saturday also said the government has implemented the “most difficult” economic reforms while reiterating that the country would not default.

“Our first priority is there is no delay in the country’s sovereign commitments. Fortunately, there have been no such delays,” said Dar.

The finance minister also slammed “pseudo-intellectuals” who have predicted Pakistan will default. “Some people wish the country to default, but that will not be the case,” he said.

“I assure you: Pakistan is a sovereign country, with trillions of dollars in assets in comparison to $100 billion external debt. Our gas pipeline infrastructure alone is worth $40 billion to $50 billion i.e. 50% of the debt,” he added.

He said that weeks ago, Managing Director IMF Kristalina Georgieva stated that Pakistan will not default.

“I want to reassure you that our economic team remains committed to getting the country out of the current crisis, we will be coming up with new ideas in weeks to come,” said Dar.

The finance minister said that after the budget, which is set to be announced on 9 June, “steps will be taken for the long-term development of the country.”

“We will bring an agricultural revolution in Pakistan, and a sovereign wealth fund will be set up in the country,” he said.

Budget proposals: KCCI for adopting ‘novel’ approaches to economic challenge

He told the KCCI delegation that the government will look into the reasonable demands of the chamber.

IMF programme

Earlier this week, the IMF said it is continuing engagement with the Pakistani authorities – focusing on the restoration of foreign exchange proper market functioning, the passage of a fiscal year 2024 budget consistent with program goals, and adequate financing – to pave the way for a Board meeting before the current program expires at June-end.

This was stated by Nathan Porter, IMF Mission Chief to Pakistan.

He further stated that overcoming the present economic and financial challenges would require sustained policy efforts and reforms for Pakistan to regain strong and inclusive private-led growth.

Meeting with businessmen at PSX

Separately, in a meeting with the business community at the Pakistan Stock Exchange, the finance minister said reforms are always painful and difficult.

“We worked for the betterment of the economy and saved Pakistan from default at a political loss,” he said, and asked for budget recommendations keeping in view the earnings of Pakistan.

“Together we will escape this crisis. I aspire to add Pakistan to the top 20 economies of the world.”


Comments are closed.

Rizwan Jun 03, 2023 01:49pm
Not sure whether he's is right about other things, but he's right about pseudo intellectuals. Aajkal toh gali ke
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The Mr I know all . Arrogance will lead to a fall .
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KU Jun 03, 2023 02:43pm
No, it's not unprecedented! IMF has been repeating the terms on many occasions and has also shown concern about how we are deviating from the Constitution and democratic norms. But IMF is not familiar with the arm-twisting mindset of our leaders, they need to be told about the history of our monarchy's performance.
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Haq Jun 03, 2023 03:13pm
Global (economics, sanctions, trade, wars) scenario, internal (PTI terror) politics, IMF ever increasing conditions & refusal to remaining agreed amount are all interconnected. Pakistan needs to look Eastward, Afghanistan & Central Asia, for it's trade / business development
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Tulukan Mairandi Jun 03, 2023 03:24pm
If you don't fulfill requirements, you don't get loan. Simple.
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K Jun 03, 2023 03:54pm
@Haq, respectfully disgusting are the terrorists you support. Pak will not grow via Central Asia and Afghanistan, please wake up. US EU only export markets
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Jani Walker Jun 03, 2023 04:40pm
Lies, lies and damned lies. Does this failure Dar not get tired of spinning the same lies over and over. IMF is not going to fund his election. Country will default come what may.
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Mehboob Ali Lalani Jun 03, 2023 05:03pm
It is not a matter whether Pakistan will default or not! How long people of Pakistan will suffer from unprecedented inflation? Selling assets to avert default is not sustainable solution. Generating more resources than expenses will bring positive results and ease the burden on the people.
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hilarious Jun 03, 2023 07:01pm
Pakistan and in essence Pakistanis have been avoiding doing their dirty dishes for decades now, always expecting someone else to come and do them, the only way out is to swallow some bitter pills, look long and hard at what a failure the nation and it’s people are and have become, and do the HARD WORK that is necessary to pull itself out of this rut, only those you put into positions of power and the citizens can achieve this, not China, not the USA not the EU or Russia or the IMF, it is you, yourself that must do the necessary in order to pull yourself out of the quicksand where you put yourself in. We all like to get hard over that there is some global conspiracy against Pakistan, when the reality is, you are the conspiracy against yourself. You expect to achieve greatness and demand respect from those around you while you can’t even show up to work before noon, have trouble grasping basic laws like wearing a helmet and seatbelt, driving in lanes, not littering etc.
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Shaukat Jun 03, 2023 08:33pm
In other countries the Petrol is equal to Rs 390 per litre and in Pakistan govt has reduced price to around 285. This will increase the gap of balance of payment as well as it goes against the IMF conditions that PDM agreed to. If this govt does not follow on its promises then how they can expect from IMF to agree?
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Victor Balm Jun 03, 2023 08:40pm
Mr. Dar said “I assure you: Pakistan is a sovereign country, with trillions of dollars in assets in comparison to $100 billion external debt. Our gas pipeline infrastructure alone is worth $40 billion to $50 billion i.e. 50% of the debt,” Mr. Dar forgot to mention that he is working very hard to bring back Mr. Nawaz Sharif, so the remainder of Pakistan can also be pawned away. And commissions deposited in "Foreign UK Accounts, inshAllah."
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Mueez Jun 03, 2023 09:44pm
Actually the incompetence is unprecedented
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Waheed Jun 03, 2023 09:45pm
"We are the only one (PML-N) in Pakistan’s history that successfully completed the IMF program of 2013-16,” said Dar. Sound like we are proud of begging and then going back to beg some more, aren't we?
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Maqbool Jun 03, 2023 10:16pm
The IMF like the rest of us are waiting to see what Dar comes up with in this Budget . What he does rather than what he says .
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Saleem Jun 03, 2023 11:54pm
A country with so much resources of all kinds is begging in front of IMF, what a shame. This country is so unlucky that it did not get honest and dedicated leadership, just corrupt and thieves have controlled and managed the affairs. It is not just politicians but we as a nation are dishonest.
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Johnny Jun 05, 2023 06:11am
Ill doings of DAR.
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Yousaf Hyat Jun 05, 2023 06:52am
IMF has to watch its reputation too unlike us .
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Yousaf Hyat Jun 05, 2023 06:54am
@IMTIAZ CASSUM AGBOATWALA, Can’t expect a crow to dance like a peacock.
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