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IMF deposits $1.2 billion into SBP’s account: Ishaq Dar

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  • SBP’s reserves have risen by $4.2 billion during this week.
  • FinMin Dar thanks PM Shehbaz for his efforts in IMF deal.
  • “Pakistan is on the road to development,” FinMin Dar adds.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has deposited $1.2 billion into the State Bank of Pakistan’s (SBP) account, boosting the cash-strapped nation’s hope for economic stability, as it teetered on the brink of default for several months.  

The IMF’s executive board late last night approved a $3 billion Stand-By Agreement (SBA) under a nine-month programme, which came after eight months of tough negotiations over fiscal discipline.

Pakistan reached a staff-level agreement with the lender last month, securing a short-term pact, which got more than expected funding for the crises-hit country of 230 million.

In a televised address from Islamabad, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said Pakistan would receive the balance amount after two reviews — the second in November and the third in February.

This inflow will increase Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves, he said, noting that during the ongoing week, the central bank’s reserves have moved up by around $4.2 billion.

“Our foreign exchange reserves will close at around $13-$14 billion on July 14 […] and the SBP will release the exact numbers later on,” the finance minister said, as he thanked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for his efforts in securing the programme.

The prime minister played a key role in convincing the IMF to agree to the new programme as he repeatedly interacted with the lender’s chief in Paris and on phone calls.

In a statement, the IMF said its executive board gave the green light to the nine-month standby arrangement in order “to support the authorities’ economic stabilization program.”

“Pakistan is on the road to development […] we must all make efforts to make gains through this,” Dar added.

The South Asian nation has suffered from a balance-of-payments crisis as it attempts to service crippling external debt amid a fraught political environment — following the removal of the country’s former prime minister Imran Khan.

Inflation has rocketed, the rupee has reached a record low against the dollar, and the country is struggling to afford imports, causing a severe decline in industrial output.

Pakistan has brokered close to two dozen arrangements with the IMF, most of which have gone uncompleted.

In the days before the decision was approved, Pakistan received $3 billion in deposits from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

The money from the two Gulf countries boosted Pakistan’s foreign reserves to $7.5 billion — more than double last week’s account balance.

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April FDI in Pakistan increased to $358.8 million, according to SBP

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The inflow for April was $358.8 million, up 177% from $132 million in April FY23. Still, that was 39% more than the $258 million from March.

China was the largest investor, with $439.3 million in FDI from the nation between July and April of FY24—the greatest amount—as opposed to $604 million during the same period of FY23. In April, China accounted for $177 million of the total investment.

With $51.93 and 51.89 million invested in Pakistan, the United Arab Emirates and Canada came in second and third, respectively.

The power industry was the main draw for foreign investors in FY24, which ran from July to April. This period’s FDI in the power industry was $637.5 million, compared to $776.2 million the previous year. From $338 million to $460 million this year, Hydel Power garnered more attention.

Continue reading: In FY23–24, Pakistan’s per capita income increased to $1680.

According to a separate data released on Wednesday, Pakistanis’ per capita income increased to $1680 in FY2023–2024.

The size of the national economy grew from $341 billion to $375 billion in the current fiscal year, according to figures made public by PBS.

Throughout this fiscal year, Pakistanis’ yearly per capita income increased by Rs 90,534; the monthly rise was Rs 7,544.

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OGRA forbids the purchase or sale of inferior LPG cylinders.

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The 313 LPG marketing and 19 cylinder-producing companies received notices from the OGRA, which described the act of refilling inferior LPGO cylinders as harmful.

Avoid supplying LPG to unlicensed distributors, the OGRA has cautioned LPG marketing companies. Only approved distributors will be able to sell and buy LPG going forward, per the notification, which states that new SOPs have been developed for the LPG industry.

Additionally, the warning said that the decision was made in an effort to preserve both lives and the business in response to an increase in cylinder blast occurrences.

Price reductions of Rs 20 per kilogramme for liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) were implemented in Quetta on May 3.

There is a reduction of Rs 20 on LPG prices, which means that the price per kilogramme drops from Rs 280 to Rs 260.

The costs of LPG were reduced by Rs 20 per kilogramme earlier, bringing the total decrease to Rs 40 per kilogramme over a few weeks. This is something worth noticing.

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PIA announces a significant student discount.

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According to an airline spokesman, the national flag carrier has recently raised the baggage allowance to 60 kg.

Currently, PIA flies one flight per week on Sundays between Islamabad and Beijing.

The discount may be useful to students who intend to spend their summer vacations in Pakistan or who wish to return home after earning their degrees.

Before, students who wanted to visit China could now receive a 27% reduction on their fares through PIA.

On Eid ul Fitr, the national flag airline also reduced the cost of domestic flights by 20% for both economy and executive economy classes.

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