A delegation from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Pakistan in two to three days to “undertake and complete” the key ninth review, according to Prime Minister (PM) Shehbaz Sharif.
PM Shehbaz said that he spoke to IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva and stressed that Pakistan will complete the IMF bailout programme.
“I told her to ease the terms of the deal because I cannot burden the common man any further. We have imposed taxes on the rich strata of the society. I requested her to send a delegation for the ninth review and she replied that a team will visit Pakistan in 2-3 days.”
“After inquiring about Pakistan’s relations with China and Saudi Arabia, she also told me that China had urged IMF to support Pakistan,” he said.
The IMF programme is currently stalled, with experts suggesting that the government is reluctant to implement some of the lender’s conditions over their effect on political capital in a year when elections are scheduled to take place.
PM Shehbaz said that Pakistan was trying to mend its ties with friendly countries as well. “We should appreciate friendly countries for supporting Pakistan over the past few years but the previous government slapped allegations of corruption on Chinese firms and jeopardised the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC).”
He stated that the former leadership “had angered friendly nations”, adding that the contribution of Saudi Arabia, UAE and China to Pakistan’s economy is priceless.
Pakistan needs the IMF programme to restart due to its declining rupee, shrinking reserves, and worse macroeconomic indices.
The State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) foreign exchange holdings dropped by another $245 million on Thursday, down to a critically low level of $5.58 billion. Since April 2014, SBP-held reserves have never been this low.
At the same time, the government has also been unable in obtaining crucial support from allies.
The challenge has left Pakistani authorities scurrying to set up foreign exchange amid increased concerns over the country’s capacity to pay its debts and fund imports.
Additionally, there are market rumours that Pakistan could possibly default, but the Pakistani government is still confident that Saudi Arabia would provide essential assistance for the country’s foreign exchange reserves.
Leave a Reply