- Premier says Islamabad has met all prior conditionalities
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Monday he was “very hopeful” a deal will be reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) this month.
In an exclusive interview with Anadolu Agency in Ankara, the premier said: “We are still very hopeful that the IMF program will materialise. Our ninth review by the IMF will match all terms and conditions and, hopefully, we’ll have some good news this month.”
Sharif was in Ankara for President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s inauguration ceremony.
The premier said Islamabad had met all conditionalities. “I repeat, each and every requirement of the IMF as prior actions have been met,” he stressed.
“Some of those actions are usually met after the board’s approval, but this time the IMF required that those actions be met before the board’s approval, so we have met them.”
PM Shehbaz said his government has been facing a plethora of problems since April 2022 as he blamed the previous government’s policies for the current crisis.
“Pakistan, in April 2022, was on the verge of default because the government of the day had violated the IMF agreement and the economy was in tatters,” the premier said.
“Then we had devastating floods in August 2022. Combined with that we are facing galloping inflation, because of the international situation.”
Talking about Pakistan’s options in case talks with the IMF failed, the premier emphasized the resilience and fortitude of the Pakistani nation.
We will “tighten our belt” and rise again, he remarked.
Pakistan’s bailout programme with the IMF has been stalled at the ninth review since November, while talks on the staff-level agreement have dragged on over securing necessary financing assurances to bridge the balance of payments’ gap.
Pakistan earlier said it has managed to secure $3 billion in commitments – Saudi Arabia’s $2 billion and another billion from the UAE – but reports suggested the amount was around half of what the lender wanted in assurance.
The amounts are yet to be deposited with Pakistan’s central bank.