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Pakistan hopes to sign IMF deal before budget: Bloomberg

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  • Pakistan eyeing secure $2bn in external financing.
  • Authorities say secured $4bn out of $6bn requirement. 
  • Pakistan says committed to completing IMF programme.

In its last-ditch efforts to revive the stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan, Pakistan is eyeing to secure $2 billion in external financing to bridge the $6 billion gap for resuming the bailout programme.

The Ministry of Finance, in an emailed response to Bloomberg, said the government has lined up $4 billion in external financing and hopes to strike a deal with the Washington-based lender before unveiling the budget this Friday.

The government remains on tenterhooks, with urgency growing for resuming the $6.7 billion programme — signed in 2019 and set to expire in June this year — as external financing and exchange-rate policy among the biggest hurdles.

Due to the disagreements between the local authorities and the lender, the ninth review has been stalled for more than six months, one of the longest delays for a review.

“Pakistan remains committed to completing the IMF programme and has already demonstrated its seriousness,” the ministry said.

The ministry further added that it remains committed to mobilising additional liquidity despite a significant contraction of the current-account deficit which has reduced the requirement.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have committed to provide fresh financing of $3 billion to Pakistan. China and its state-owned banks have rolled over $4 billion in loan commitments.

In an email to Bloomberg, IMF’s Resident Representative for Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz said the programme would restart once the authorities follow the lender’s programme goals, present adequate financing while presenting the budget, and there is “proper market functioning” of the Pakistani rupee.

“IMF staff continues the engagement with the Pakistani authorities to pave the way for a Board meeting before the current programme expires,” said the official.

The South Asian nation has to repay around $22 billion of external loans — five times its foreign exchange reserves — during the next fiscal year, beginning in July, according to Columbia Threadneedle Investments.

The coalition government has taken a host of measures — including raising taxes, hiking energy prices, and allowing the rupee to weaken against the dollar — to meet IMF demands.

Once the IMF loan comes in, it will allow Pakistan to unlock further financing from other multilateral.

These funds will help the $350 billion economy overcome a dollar crunch, ease supply shortages, and pull the South Asian nation out of default risks ahead of the elections — scheduled to take place later this year.

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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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