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Miftah Ismail says Pakistan could get $2 billion from IMF

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  • Miftah Ismail says may receive $2 billion instead of $1 billion from IMF.
  • Pakistan receives MEFP from IMF for seventh, eighth reviews.
  • This critical development signals two sides have reached an agreement.

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said Tuesday that Pakistan could get $2 billion instead of $1 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

The finance minister made the comments during his address at the “Turn Around Pakistan” conference after he confirmed Pakistan has received the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) from the IMF for the seventh and eighth reviews.

This is a critical development signalling that the two sides have reached an agreement. The draft MEFP is a prerequisite to paving the way towards striking a staff-level agreement.

Now that Pakistan has received this document, it will be analysed and scrutinised for three days by the country’s economic team.

The finance minister and State Bank of Pakistan governor will then sign it if no major problem is found.

The staff-level agreement will then be presented before the IMF’s Executive Board next month for approval, after which the tranche will be released.

The MEFP may be considered as the crux of decisions negotiated between Pakistan and the Fund because it includes policy actions and structural benchmarks the two sides agreed on.

Pakistan reached IMF accord after US help: sources

Earlier, sources had said Pakistan reached the accord with IMF with the “help” of the United States, as Islamabad made major progress on the discussions held with the lender regarding the federal budget for fiscal year 2022-23.

Speaking on Geo News programme Geo Pakistan, anchor Shahzad Iqbal said that according to his information, Islamabad did get benefit from reaching out to the US because IMF’s attitude earlier was very rigid and the Fund was putting harsh conditions and probably would have refused to close a deal with the country.

However, the anchorperson added, the US pressure made this possible for Pakistan, but there were still no concessions in conditions.

Major progress in talks with Pakistan: IMF

Last Tuesday, the Pakistani authorities and the IMF evolved a broader agreement on budget 2022-23 to revise upward the Federal Board of Revenue’s target and slash expenditures to achieve a revenue surplus in the next fiscal year.

The next day, IMF Resident Representative to Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz said that discussions between the Fund and Pakistan are underway and major progress had been made regarding the budget.

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Significant surge in the price of gold in Pakistan

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On Friday, the price of gold in Pakistan continued to increase.

According to the All-Pakistan Gems and Jewellers Sarafa Association, the price of 24-karat gold per tola has risen by Rs2,200, reaching Rs249,000.

The price of 10-gram 24-karat gold increased by Rs1,886, reaching a total of Rs213,477. On Thursday, the cost of 10 grammes of 22-karat gold was Rs195,687.

The global gold market likewise had a rising trajectory. As per APGJSA, the worldwide rate was $2,404 per ounce, showing a decline of $24 during the course of the trading day.

The local market witnessed constant silver prices at Rs2,900 per tola.

Market observers attribute the increase in gold prices to other variables, such as volatility in the global market, currency exchange rates, and economic conditions. The ongoing surge in gold prices is likely to impact investment choices and consumer behaviour in the near future.

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Gold prices in Pakistan have risen by Rs 1,200 per tola.

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The price of one tola of 24 carat gold rose by Rs1,200 and reached Rs246,800 on Thursday, compared to its previous sale price of Rs245,600 on the last trading day.

According to the All Sindh Sarafa Jewellers Association, the cost of 10 grammes of 24 karat gold rose by Rs1,029 to reach Rs211,591, compared to the previous price of Rs210,562. Similarly, the price of 10 grammes of 22 carat gold jumped from Rs193,016 to Rs193,959.

The price of silver remained unchanged at Rs2,900 per tola and Rs2,486.28 per ten grammes.

According to the association, the international market price of gold rose by $10, reaching $2,382 from $2,372.

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The federal government has declared wage and pension increments for its employees.

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The Ministry of Finance has formally declared a rise in the remuneration and retirement benefits of personnel working for the federal government, offering substantial economic alleviation.

According to the notification, personnel in grades 1 to 16 will experience a 25% increment in their salaries, while officials in grades 17 to 22 will be granted a 20% rise. The implementation of this modification will commence on July 1, 2024, and will be applicable to the employees’ fundamental remuneration.

In addition, retired federal government employees would receive a 15% rise in their pension payments. This increase is applicable to retirees from both the civilian and military sectors. It is important to mention that employees who retire on or after July 1, 2024, will also qualify for this pension rise.

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The 15% increase in pension will be computed based on the amount of pension received by retired employees after deductions. Nevertheless, the letter specifies that ad hoc aid will not be factored into the calculations for pension and gratuity.

Moreover, this increment will have no effect on the calculation of housing rent allowances for employees.

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