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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economic indicators are showing positive signs, with an agenda of painful reforms and privatisation on track, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said on Friday, ahead of an International Monetary Fund (IMF) board meeting to decide on a $1.1 billion funding for the country.

The prime minister said, in an address to his cabinet that was telecast live, that exports and remittances had shown a rise within one-and-a-half month of his government.

The IMF board is meeting on Monday to decide on the disbursement of the second and last tranche of a $3 billion standby arrangement Islamabad secured last summer to avert a sovereign default.

With a chronic balance of payment crisis, Pakistan needs $24 billion in payments for debt and interest servicing in the next fiscal year starting July 1 – three-time more than its central bank’s foreign currency reserves.

The South Asian nation is seeking yet another long-term, larger IMF loan.

Pakistan’s Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, has said Islamabad could secure a staff-level agreement on the new program by early July. If successful, it would be the 24th IMF bailout for Pakistan.

The IMF-led structural reforms require Pakistan to raise its tax to GDP ratio from around 9% to at least 13%-14%, stop losses in state-owned enterprise and manage its energy sector losses which run into trillions of rupees.

“It is not just for an antibiotic to work anymore. It needs a surgery,” Shehbaz Sharif said.

Pakistan’s finance ministry expect the economy to grow by 2.6% in the current fiscal year ending June, while average inflation is projected to stand at 24%, down from 29.2% in fiscal year 2023/2024.

Comments

200 characters
IMTIAZ CASSUM AGBOATWALA Apr 26, 2024 03:57pm
Why does the PM have to direct ? This is part of the duties and obligations of relevant departments to do their jobs diligently .
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KU Apr 26, 2024 04:03pm
In the presence of over 3 million baboos, their useless existence, royal lifestyle, and their corrupt ability to stop economic revival, not much hope for sinking ship. Every sector is in chaos/dying.
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Aamir Apr 26, 2024 05:56pm
Prepare for most unfair and ridiculous taxes in coming budget. That will backfire and the growth rate will become negative. All investment in real estate will move to Dubai
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Muhammad Awais Mehmood Apr 26, 2024 09:48pm
@Aamir , Right. Bt be prepared to next level
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