Pro IQRA News Updates.
Federal Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said that our team has completed the work for the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Unfortunately, the deal was delayed. There is no risk of default. The IMF program ends on 30 June.
Addressing a press conference in Islamabad, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan is going through challenges. In 2013, there were similar difficult situations. It was predicted that Pakistan would fail. No institution was ready to give loans to Pakistan, but after that Pakistan came out of this situation very quickly. Hope to get out of the current situation soon.
He said that regarding the IMF, our team has completed its technical work for the ninth review. Unfortunately, this review started three months late. We have completed all preparatory steps. All these preliminary steps take place before the board meeting. Personnel levels do not precede agreements. This IMF review should have taken place much earlier, which would have greatly improved our external account situation. It has some structural lag which is very unfortunate.
He said that it happened for the first time in the history of Pakistan that when we closed the December quarter, our external account decreased by $4 million. It was very unusual for a country’s foreign account not to decrease in this way, but instead to increase.
The Finance Minister said that the IMF’s estimate was based on a certain deficit in the current account but that we are not in danger of going bankrupt. Earlier in 2013, under the PML-N government, Pakistan had completed one program from the IMF and our effort was and is to complete the second program to be completed in June.
Ishaq Dar told FBI officials that you should give us suggestions regarding revenue collection and budget improvement. All suggestions in these proposals will be feasible. There will be no resistance from our side as we all have to pull the country out of this vortex.
The finance minister said that we have paid five and a half million dollars in loans to commercial banks, when the Chinese banks saw that they took all the preliminary measures. All the technical work was done, the semester work was done in weeks and the payments were made, then they rolled over the $2 million loan and returned it to us. The remaining 3.5 million are with other banks. When the board meeting is done, then it will be very convenient.
It may be mentioned here that even former Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had claimed that Pakistan had already followed all the preparations for the ninth review with the IMF. A staff-level agreement with the IMF was expected to be signed soon after the approval of the ninth review by the IMF’s board. However, IMF mission chief Nathan Porter’s statement denied this. Nathan Porter had said he was continuing to work with the Pakistani authorities on the necessary funding and completion of the Ninth Review so that a final agreement could be reached.
It should be noted that an installment of $1.4 billion will be released to Pakistan by the IMF after the end of the Ninth Review in June. Pakistan and the IMF have been discussing monetary policy measures under review since February to restart the delayed program.
A $6.5 billion bailout agreement was reached between Pakistan and the IMF in November 2019.