P.M Shahbaz: IMF is giving tough time to Pakistan

Islamabad: 3 February 2023: The IMF mission, which is in the nation for talks over the ninth review of a $7 billion loan programme, is reportedly giving Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his group a "very terrible time," according to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif. "Our current economic problem is unfathomable. The requirements we must meet [to finish the IMF assessment] . However, PM Shehbaz admitted that the nation was forced to comply with the requirements. He said this in Peshawar while speaking to the Apex Committee. Tuesday marked the start of the crucial negotiations about the conclusion of the ninth review between the government and the IMF delegation, led by Nathan Porter. Pakistan must finish the review in order to avoid default.
According to Arif Habib Limited, the nation's reserves have been significantly depleted to a level of $3.09 billion as of January 27, which can only support 18 days of imports. Not only would completing the IMF evaluation result in a payment of $1.12 billion, it would also permit inflows from allies and other multilateral lenders. The IMF mission director sounded adamant as meetings got underway about taking immediate, calculated, and robust actions to close the ominous fiscal shortfall, which is between Rs 2 trillion and Rs 2.5 trillion.
According to sources familiar with the conversations, the mission's key message to the leaders of the finance and electricity ministries, Ishaq Dar and Khurram Dastgir Khan, respectively, was "You don't have any other option."In order to finish the IMF assessment, the government has taken a number of actions, including lifting an unofficial exchange rate ceiling, raising gasoline prices by up to 16%, and raising the price of LPG by 30%. The two parties would continue to concentrate on technical-level discussions in the first round, which was scheduled to go until today (Friday), and then shift their attention to the key policy-level discussions over the next weekend until February 9.

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