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Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday held a meeting with the Chinese envoy and discussed progress on the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme, which has been stalled since November last year.

Pang Chunxue, Charge’d Affairs, Embassy of the People’s Republic of China, called on Finance Minister Dar at the Finance Division, read a statement on Monday.

As per the statement, the finance minister appreciated the historical bilateral relations between Pakistan and China, and lauded the Chinese support to Pakistan on multiple fronts.

“He also highlighted the need to deepen bilateral relations further in economic, trade, and financial sectors,” said the Finance Division.

Senator Dar “further updated the Charge’d Affairs about the progress on talks with IMF on completion of 9th review.

“He further apprised her about the positive response of the various sectors of the economy on the Budget 2023-24, presented by the incumbent government despite difficult economic circumstances,” read the statement.

On Friday, the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N)-led coalition government presented the ‘election year’ budget for the fiscal year 2023-24, amid serious economic challenges and protracted delay in the 9th review of the IMF programme.

Meanwhile, Chunxue on Monday reciprocated the sentiments and acknowledged the friendly relations between the two countries. She also assured of continuous support from the Government of China to the people of Pakistan.

“The two sides discussed various avenues, available to both countries in order to enhance the existing cooperation to unprecedented levels,” added the statement.

The government has been scrambling to arrange funds from its multilateral and bilateral partners in recent months. It earlier said it managed to secure financing commitments from Saudi Arabia, UAE and China in order to meet a prior condition of the stalled IMF bailout package.

The international lender has said that Pakistan has to satisfy the IMF on three counts before its board reviews whether to release at least some of the $2.5 billion still pending under a lending programme expiring this month.

These include restoring the proper functioning of the foreign exchange market, passing an FY24 Budget consistent with programme objectives, and securing firm and credible financing commitments, according to an IMF official.

Experts have said the IMF programme is crucial for Pakistan, which is passing through one of its worst economic crises in decades, to avert a potential default.

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Tulukan Mairandi Jun 12, 2023 06:35pm
Basically begging and pleading for financial guarantee.
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zh Jun 13, 2023 02:39am
what is there to update. The talks are going nowhere.
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bonce richard Jun 13, 2023 05:25am
@Tulukan Mairandi, Begging is in our blood, especially in Punjabi.
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