ISLAMABAD: While emphasizing the importance of remaining in the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme for economic stability, Caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar said another increase in gas prices would be in January 2024.
Speaking to the media after the staff-level agreement (SLA) reached with the IMF, flanked by Secretary Finance Imdad Ullah Bosal, Additional Secretary Qamar Abbasi, the additional secretary external finance, and the economic adviser Ministry of Finance, she maintained that external financing would not be an issue as the government expects inflow in December 2023, which would help increase foreign exchange reserves.
The secretary finance added that talks for commercial borrowing are at an advance stage to secure budgeted commercial inflows.
Akhtar said that the government is making an effort to get US$2 billion from the World Bank in the ongoing fiscal year.
She added that around US$1 billion is in the pipeline on various accounts as well which would help increase the foreign exchange reserves. The minister said that no decision has been taken to impose tax on real estate and retailers.
She said that the government would timely repay the bond maturing in April 2024 and the issuance of bond has been delayed for the time being owing to an inappropriate environment.
She said that the government has approved a policy to privatise the loss-making state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and by end November.
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023