IMF executive meeting scheduled without Pakistan

World Tuesday 20/June/2023 08:04 AM
IMF executive meeting scheduled without Pakistan

Islamabad : As the ninth review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program still remains pending, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board has issued meetings scheduled till June 29 without Pakistan, Pakistan-based ARY news reported.

Pakistan has hardly enough currency reserves to cover imports for one month. It was hoping to have 1.1 billion USD of the funds released in November - but the IMF has insisted on a number of conditions before it makes any more disbursements. Citing sources privy to the development, ARY News stated that the IMF had to meet for the release of a 1.1 billion USD tranche under the 9th review of the EFF program which is expiring on June 30.

However, Pakistani authorities are still optimistic that the fund will complete the ninth review before the deadline and the meeting for the release of the tranche to Pakistan can be summoned at any time.

In this regard, Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in his telephonic conversation with the IMF chief requested for the early completion of the 9th review for the release of the loan, ARY news reported.

But, last week, the IMF expressed 'dissatisfaction' with Pakistan's recently presented budget.

"Policy talks are underway with Pakistan. However, the draft FY24 Budget 'misses' an opportunity to broaden the tax base in a more progressive way," ARY News quoted, Esther Perez Ruiz, the International Monetary Fund's resident representative for Pakistan, as saying .

Esther Perez Ruiz further added that the long list of new tax expenditures further reduces the fairness of the tax system and undercuts the resources needed for vulnerable recipients in the Benazir Income Support Programme.

Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday said that Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) are underway and the talks have not failed nor the negotiation phase has concluded, reported ARY News.

He said, "Our talks with the IMF are underway and it has not concluded yet. We have already made the payment for which Fitch expressed concerns."

"The Pakistan-IMF talks have not failed and there is no issue in payments till June 30. We are fully prepared to make timely payments till June 30," he added.

Dar also denied other rumours and said that the federal government will not decide to freeze lockers, gold, and Roshan Digital Accounts.

The Pakistan Finance Minister criticised the previous Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government and alleged that the debts have increased from USD 70 billion to USD 130 billion during the last four years, ARY reported.