Pakistan

IMF ready for formulation of 'new medium-term programme', responds to PTI's letter

  • Says it encourages fair and peaceful resolution of all electoral disputes
Published March 8, 2024

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) "encouraged the fair and peaceful resolution of all electoral disputes" as it responded to a query on Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf's (PTI) letter in which the party asked the lender to factor in the country’s “political instability” in any further bailout talks.

"The IMF received a letter from a PTI spokesperson on February 28 regarding the Fund’s engagement with Pakistan under the programme," an IMF spokesperson told Business Recorder via message on Friday.

"The IMF, as an international institution with a narrow mandate on economic issues, does not comment on domestic political developments.

"However, given the importance of the institutional environment for economic stability and growth, we do encourage the fair and peaceful resolution of all electoral disputes."

'Support formulation of new medium-term economic programme'

The IMF also said it was looking forward to engaging with the new government.

"We look forward to engaging with the new government to complete the second review under the current Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) and, should the government request, support the formulation of a new medium-term economic programme."

The IMF added that it aims to support the implementation of strong policies to deepen financial stability, address the longstanding economic and underlying balance of payments challenges, and restore sustained and inclusive growth for the benefit of all Pakistani citizens.

"This includes stronger public finances, through high-quality revenue measures to broaden the tax base while scaling up the support for the most vulnerable, restoring energy sector viability, improving institutional governance and anti-corruption effectiveness, SOE reform, building climate resilience, and creating a level playing field for private businesses to promote investment and job creation."

An IMF official had earlier said the lender “stands ready” to send its mission to Pakistan mission for the second review of the SBA after a new cabinet is formed. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, who took oath as the country's 24th premier on Monday, has yet to notify his cabinet members with speculation rife on the finance minister's portfolio.

The choice becomes all the more crucial for the debt-ridden economy as the current nine-month SBA is scheduled to end next month, and analysts believe another programme is certain – a longer, tougher and bigger facility that takes Pakistan closer to a level of self-reliance.

Bilal Memon

Bilal Memon is the Head of Digital Content at Business Recorder. His Twitter handle is @bilalahmadmemon

Comments

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Pakistani1 Mar 08, 2024 01:19pm
Not sure what PTI achieved out of this letter. It did give an external agency to use this letter as a reason in case it chooses to disrupt Pakistan negotiation.
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Arif Mar 08, 2024 04:48pm
@Pakistani1, the fact that they mentioned the existence of this letter and that they expect fair and quick resolution of electoral disputes is a substantial statement from IMF
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Muhammad Alim Mar 09, 2024 12:27am
The economy will improve ifthe IMF makes it conditional to reduce the bloated government, expenditure on defence, levy more taxes on property and retail trade and privatize most loss making SOEs.
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Test Mar 09, 2024 02:56am
@Arif , what IMF said can you explain it no way to read IMF response
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Usman Mar 09, 2024 03:16am
@Arif , yeah we dont need an enemy when we got pti.
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