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PM Shehbaz says IMF giving tough time to Finance Minister

PM Shehbaz says IMF giving tough time to Pakistan.

ISLAMABAD: The IMF team is giving a tough time to Ishaq Dar and his team. IMF team is in Pakistan to have a dialogue on the ninth review of the $7 billion loan program.

PM Shehbaz Sharif today said the IMF team is giving Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his staff a very difficult time.
Our current economic crisis is overwhelming. “We must fulfil the demands [to complete the IMF assessment] that are extremely difficult ,” he stated, without going into further detail.
However, PM Shehbaz acknowledged that the country has no choice but to implement the terms. He made the remarks while speaking at a meeting of the Apex Committee in Peshawar.
On Tuesday, the IMF delegation, led by Nathan Porter, and the government began crunch talks on completing the ninth review. To avoid default, Pakistan must finish the review.
According to Arif Habib Limited, the country’s reserves have been drained to a critically low level of $3.09 billion as of January 27. These reserves can support only 18 days of imports. Completing the IMF assessment would result in a $1.12 billion payout. Besides inflows from friendly countries and other multilateral lenders.
The IMF mission chief emphasised the importance of immediate and targeted steps. In order to bridge the looming fiscal imbalance of Rs2 trillion to Rs2.5 trillion.

“You don’t have any other option,” team members were warned as they met with the finance and power ministries.
To complete the IMF evaluation, the government has taken a variety of steps. These steps includes elimination of an unofficial price restriction on the currency rate. Along with raising petroleum prices by up to 16%, and boosting LPG prices by 30%.
The two parties would concentrate on high-level technical discussions in the first round, which is scheduled to continue until Friday (today). Then they’ll move on to major policy talks over the following weekend until February 9.

Sara Tayyab
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