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IMF did not demand increase in power and gas tariffs: Senator Mandviwalla

He clarified, “The IMF has not imposed any new conditions,” and emphasized that they haven’t instructed Pakistan to increase or decrease the prices of petrol, gas, or electricity.

ISLAMABAD: Senator Saleem Mandviwalla clarified that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not demanded Pakistan to raise energy prices, but rather urged the withdrawal of subsidies across various sectors, including energy.

Senator Mandviwalla stated that the IMF mission chief is scheduled to arrive in Pakistan on May 15 and stay for two weeks, expecting “things to be finalized” during that time.

He clarified, “The IMF has not imposed any new conditions,” and emphasized that they haven’t instructed Pakistan to increase or decrease the prices of petrol, gas, or electricity. “Their main condition is that they (those commodities) are being sold in compliance with international standards,” he said.

The senator explained that the IMF’s main request is to end subsidies in various sectors, including energy, without specifying any specific price changes. “They haven’t told us to increase or decrease prices by a certain amount, but they have given us a formula,” he added.

Regarding the impact of cutting subsidies on the common man, Mandviwalla noted that these subsidies primarily benefit specific sectors rather than the general public. He mentioned the IMF’s encouragement of subsidies in other projects such as the Benazir Income Support Programme.

Regarding the budget, he acknowledged that providing relief to the people would be “difficult” in the next budget, as the government lacks sufficient space for it.

Mandviwalla also mentioned that the IMF team may want to meet with the main opposition party, the PTI.

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I am an experienced writer, analyst, and author. My exposure in English journalism spans more than 28 years. In the past, I have been working with daily The Muslim (Lahore Bureau), daily Business Recorder (Lahore/Islamabad Bureaus), Daily Times, Islamabad, daily The Nation (Lahore and Karachi). With daily The Nation, I have served as Resident Editor, Karachi. Since 2009, I have been working as a Freelance Writer/Editor for American organizations.

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