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Friday, September 22, 2023

IMF demands on Pakistan’s budgetary position


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Islamabad/Washington: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has requested additional information about the budget and other areas from Islamabad before beginning virtual negotiations, media reports said.

“The remaining loan repayment requirements and external financing of managing current account deficit to the tune of $8 to $10 billion cannot be raised without backing and revival of the stalled IMF programme,” said one government official.

One senior official of the Finance Division when contacted said that the IMF sought some additional information that they were just sitting in the Finance Ministry for responding back to the IMF tonight.

Meanwhile, the government is all set to table its plan to erase the circular debt of gas sector before the upcoming meeting of the federal cabinet by hiking gas tariff and bringing changes in the existing slabs to fulfil the IMF condition.

Earlier, Pakistan shared the contours of areas for accomplishing the pending 9th review under the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Now the IMF has sought more details on the budgetary position which would be shared with the global lender soon.

On other hand, Pakistan’s near-term challenge has risen sharply as Islamabad will have to secure fresh loans of $10 billion in the remaining five months (Feb-June) period to avert default.

The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) in its latest monetary policy conceded that near-term challenges for the external sector have risen despite the policy-induced contraction in the current account deficit during the first half of FY23, Geo news reports.

According to official data, Pakistan was required to pay back $23 billion in the current fiscal year 2022-23 out of which it had already paid back $15 billion in the shape of external debt servicing.

Out of $15 billion in debt repayments, the government repaid $9 billion while securing a rollover of $6 billion in the first half of the current fiscal year.


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