Pakistan to revive stalled IMF programme within two days, claims Miftah Ismail


ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Revenue and Finance Miftah Ismail said Monday that the stalled International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Extended Fund Facility (EFF) would be revived within a day or two. “I am very hopeful that the IMF programme will be revived,” the finance minister said while speaking to journalists as uncertainty over the revival of the fund’s programme has depreciated the rupee against the dollar. The authorities in the finance ministry were expected to conclude the staff-level agreement by Sunday (June 19) on the basis of revenue and expenditure measures that could deliver next year’s primary budget — the difference between revenues and expenditures, excluding interest payment — in Rs152 billion surplus. The Fund still has reservations over Rs9.5 trillion expenditures projected by the authorities for the next fiscal year. The revenue measures in the budget, according to IMF estimates, are also insufficient to deliver slightly over Rs7 trillion target. The government took the toughest measures to end fuel subsidies and hiked the POL (petrol, oil, lubricants) prices up to unprecedented levels in order to convince the Fund to revive the programme.  However, the IMF is still insisting on doing more knowingly that Islamabad has turned into a “desperate borrower” mainly owing to the depletion of foreign currency reserves.




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