Connect with us

Business

IMF ‘satisfied’ with Pakistan but no deal this week

Published

on

  • Finance minister says Pakistan “very close” to signing SLA with IMF.
  • Says Pakistan “absolutely committed” to completing IMF programme.
  • Calls for correcting mistakes made on the economic front in the last four years. 

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was “satisfied” with Pakistan’s actions but the staff-level agreement could not be signed this week.

“We seem to be very close to signing the staff-level agreement hopefully in the next few days,” Dar said in his address during a seminar titled “Reviving Economic Stability through the Strengthening of Public Financial Management” in the federal capital. 

However, the finance minister, while citing his experience of completing 12 reviews of the “one and only” IMF programme Pakistan completed, shared that “it has taken longer than it should have” for Islamabad to complete the pending ninth review.

“I think we owe to this nation that we show seriousness, we deliver and we demonstrate to the world that we can honour the sovereign commitments no matter who made those,” said Dar. He also assured that his team was “absolutely committed” to completing the programme to the “best” of their ability.  

While berating the Imran Khan-led government, Dar shared the situation of the economy when the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government left in 2018.

The minister said that it pained him to see the economy fall to the rank of 47 in 2022 after it was predicted that Pakistan would join G20 by the end of 2030. 

The finance czar also highlighted that the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) market capitalisation was over $100 billion but dropped to $26 billion in the last few years.  

“Another serious issue that we should be pondering about is the debt sustainability of Pakistan,” said the finance minister. He added that it was under $30 trillion in 2018 and has now climbed to $55 trillion in 2022. 

“As a consequence, this country which used to have debt servicing of less than $2 trillion per annum in the fiscal year 2016-17 has risen to over $5 trillion,” said Dar.

“I think in the last few years, we should see what mistakes we have made on the economic front and we should try to correct those as soon as possible,” said the finance minister.

‘IMF deal not to be signed this week’

Later, to a question by a journalist, the finance minister said the agreement will not be finalised this week.

“Staff-level agreement with IMF is unlikely this week,” said the finance minister, adding that the Fund was “satisfied” with the actions taken by Pakistan.

When pressed that he had assured of striking the SLA by this week, Dar responded: “I said a few days, not this week.”

Business

The cost of a liter of petroleum increased by much to Rs 8.14.

Published

on

By

Prices for gasoline and high-speed diesel were raised by the government on Monday by Rs4.53 and Rs8.14, respectively, for the upcoming two weeks.

In relation to this, the ministry of finance released a notice.

Diesel now costs Rs 290.38 per litre, while petrol is now priced at Rs 293.94 per liter following the most recent increase.

Additionally, light diesel cost Rs6.54 more per litre, to Rs174.34. A 6.69% increase in price to Rs193.8 per liter was made for kerosene oil.

The impact of the developing Middle East situation and the expanding global market are the main factors contributing to the transformation.

Before the most recent spike, the price of gasoline and HSD had risen by almost $4 and $4.50 per barrel, respectively, on the global market during the previous two weeks.

Continue Reading

Business

Finance Minister Aurangzeb claims that Pakistan and the IMF are talking about a new multibillion-dollar initiative.

Published

on

By

The South Asian country is drawing to a close a $3 billion loan program with the International Monetary Fund that lasted nine months and was intended to address a balance-of-payments crisis that had put it in danger of defaulting last summer.

Pakistan has started negotiations for a new multi-year IMF loan program for “billions” of dollars, Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb said in a Washington interview, with the final $1.1 billion tranche of that arrangement likely to be approved later this month.

Aurangzeb, a former banker who started his job last month, stated, “The market confidence, the market sentiment is in much, much better shape this fiscal year.”

“We really started talking with the Fund this week to get into a larger and longer program for that reason,” he continued.

A representative for the IMF informed AFP that the organization is “currently focused on the completion of the current Stand-by Agreement program,” which is a nine-month program that is expected to be finished soon.

The spokesperson went on, “The Fund staff is prepared to start initial talks on a successor program as the new government has expressed interest in a new program.”

“Third-year curriculum”
Aurangzeb’s journey to Washington will also include attendance at the IMF and World Bank’s spring meetings, which begin in earnest on Tuesday and have two distinct goals: supporting the world’s most indebted countries and aiding governments in the fight against climate change.

The IMF’s revised World Economic Outlook will be released to coincide with the start of the meetings, which bring together academics, representatives from the private sector, civil society, finance and development ministries, and central bankers to debate the state of the global economy.

Allegations of election tampering plagued Pakistan’s February 2019 elections, resulting in the imprisonment and disqualification of opposition leader Imran Khan and the persecution of his Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party.

The unstable alliance that surfaced, headed by Shehbaz Sharif, is currently charged with bringing about an economic recovery through the imposition of several controversial austerity measures.

Aurangzeb stated, “I do believe that we will be requesting for a three year program.” “Because in my opinion, that is what we need to help carry out the structural reform agenda.”

He went on, “I do think we’ll start getting into the contours of that discussion by the time we get to the second or third week of May.”

Keeping the US-China rivalry in check
Pakistan is in a difficult situation as the two nations have started an expensive trade war because of its strong economic ties to both China and the United States.

When asked how the Sharif government intends to handle its commercial relationships with the two largest economies in the world, Aurangzeb responded, “From our perspective it has to be a and-and discussion.”

“The United States is our biggest trading partner, and it has consistently provided us with support and assistance with our investments,” he stated. Therefore, that relationship will always be extremely important to Pakistan.

He was alluding to the nearly 1,860-mile-long China-Pakistan Economic Corridor, which was built to offer China access to the Arabian Sea, when he added, “On the other side, a lot of investment, especially in infrastructure, came through CPEC.”

According to Aurangzeb, Pakistan has a “very good opportunity” to participate in the trade war on par with nations like Vietnam, whose exports to the US have increased significantly as a result of tariffs placed on some Chinese items.

He stated, “We already have a few examples of that working.” “However, we must truly scale it up.”

reform initiative

Pakistan is currently engaged in a privatization campaign to sell off its underperforming state-owned businesses (SOEs) as part of the structural reform package agreed upon by the previous government.

The nation’s flag carrier, Pakistan International Airlines, is the first SOE on the list.

In regards to potential bidder interest, Aurangzeb stated, “we will find out in the next month or so.”

He said, “Our goal is to proceed with that privatization and see it through to completion by the end of June.”

Other businesses may soon follow if the government’s privatization of the PIA proceeds smoothly.

He declared, “We’re building a whole pipeline,” and added, “We want to really accelerate that over the next couple of years.”

Continue Reading

Business

Owners of oil tankers stop the provision of fuel in favour of their demands.

Published

on

By

The Association declared on Monday that, in response to what it deemed to be an “unfair” measurement by the relevant authorities, gasoline delivery will stay suspended as of Tuesday.

According to the Oil Tankers Owners’ Association, they attempted to resolve their complaints with Deputy Commissioner Islamabad and Pakistan State Oil (PSO), but to no effect.

The Oil Tankers Owners Association has yelled slogans in support of their demand while parking their containers in the PSO depot.

The owners of oil tankers declared that they would not end their strike until their demands were met, accusing the administration of being to blame for the fuel crisis.

The association requested that the authorities abide by their requests, which included filling under a metered system. It further stated that the deal reached on February 20 had been broken by the authorities.

Continue Reading

Trending