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IMF’s review mission expected to visit Pakistan after Feb 8 polls

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  • Mission is set to visit Pakistan for talks about $3bn SBA.
  • IMF hinted that 2nd review date revised during SBA signing.
  • 2nd review for end of Dec 2023 was planned for March 1, 2024.

ISLAMABAD: A review mission of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is likely to be dispatched to conduct talks with Islamabad after Pakistan’s much anticipated general elections, scheduled to be held on February 8.

The review mission is set to visit Pakistan for talks regarding the $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA) programme, The News reported.

According to a confirmation received by The News from top official sources, the “Fund has not yet confirmed the exact schedule for conducting the second review, so the upcoming review talks are expected to be held after the general elections”.

In its latest staff report, the IMF also hinted that the date of the second review was revised at the time of the signing of the SBA agreement in July 2023. The second review for the end of December 2023 was planned for March 1, 2024.

Now the Pakistani side proposed the review schedule for March 15, 2024, indicating that the review completion date was changed with the possibility that talks for a second review might be held after the February 8, 2024 elections.

The existing SBA programme of the IMF is scheduled to be accomplished on April 12, 2024. In case the second review is completed till mid of March, then the Fund’s Executive Board would have sufficient time to approve the last tranche of $1.1 billion for Pakistan by the second of April 2024.

It is not known how the transition from the SBA to another medium-term programme would happen when there would be a political transition in Pakistan.

Earlier, there were reports that the mainstream political parties had asked to accomplish the second review during the tenure of the caretaker setup. There are still chances that the Fund review might be done before the formation of the new government.

Many insiders believe that after the general elections, the formation of the new government was expected to be accomplished by the end of February, so the IMF review mission might visit Islamabad before the formation of the new government and complete the second review.

In April 2024, the IMF will again be visiting Pakistan to strike a broader agreement on the fresh medium-term loan programme based on which the next budget for 2024-25 will be formulated. It will be up to the next government whether it will be able to sign the fresh IMF programme before the announcement of the budget or it might be done till the approval of the budget from the upcoming elected parliament.

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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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