Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has reaffirmed his team’s commitment to completing Pakistan’s $7 billion Extended Fund Facility programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Speaking at a seminar organised by the Finance Ministry in Islamabad, Dar acknowledged the need for swift implementation of measures to reach an agreement with the IMF as the country has reserves barely sufficient for three weeks of essential imports.

He noted that the government had inherited an economy that was “in a shambles” and that it had decided to honour the commitments made by the previous administration, despite a serious trust deficit with the lender.



According to Dawn, the minister also confirmed that Pakistan was “very close” to signing a staff-level agreement with the IMF, which would unlock inflows from friendly countries and lead to a disbursement of $1.2 billion. The prerequisites by the lender are aimed at ensuring Pakistan reduces its fiscal deficit before its annual budget around June. The country has already taken most of the other prior actions, including hikes in fuel and energy tariffs, the withdrawal of subsidies in export and power sectors, and generating more revenues through new taxation in a supplementary budget.

Furthermore, Dar highlighted the need for all stakeholders to contribute to overcoming the challenges facing the country, including the implementation of austerity measures. These measures, which include cabinet members forgoing their salaries, paying their own bills, banning the purchase of luxury vehicles from 2024, and slashing current expenditure by 15 per cent, have already been implemented and notified to the Finance Ministry.

Dar also noted that Pakistan’s economic difficulties were compounded by the devastating 2022 floods, which affected 33 billion people and caused physical and economic losses of nearly $30 billion.

Despite fiscal constraints and limitations, Dar pledged that the federal and provincial governments had jointly allocated Rs452 billion for relief and rehabilitation work of flood affectees. International agencies have calculated that around $16 billion would be required for reconstruction and rehabilitation work in Pakistan in the next two years, half of which will be met by Pakistan from its own resources.