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HomePakistanIMF puts fresh condition on crisis-hit Pakistan to revive loan

IMF puts fresh condition on crisis-hit Pakistan to revive loan

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The International Monetary Fund has called on Pakistan to revise its budgetary framework for 2023-24 before it is passed in parliament in order to achieve a staff-level agreement. The IMF has said that without changes, the agreement with Pakistan cannot be reached.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has asked cash-strapped Pakistan to revise the budgetary framework for 2023-24 before its passage from the parliament in order to strike a staff-level agreement.

“Without changes in the Pakistan budget, the staff-level agreement with the Washington-based financial body cannot be achieved,” the IMF said in the report. 

Pakistan and the IMF are making efforts to evolve a broader agreement on the budgetary framework which, if struck, could pave the way for approval of the budget for 2023-24 with revisions, including jacking up the FBR’s tax collection target and slashing expenditures.

A top official privy to the ongoing negotiations between Pakistan and the IMF held virtually from Islamabad and Washington on Friday, said, “The Pakistani side shared the revised budgetary estimates for next fiscal year with the IMF but so far a broader agreement is yet to be achieved.”

In the aftermath of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s meeting with the IMF’s MD in Paris, Pakistan, and the IMF held two rounds of virtual talks in the last 24 hours in an effort to move towards a staff-level agreement, ANI reported. 

The Pakistani authorities shared revised budgetary estimates for the next fiscal year with the IMF review mission with expectations to evolve a broader agreement on the budgetary framework, it is yet to be seen to what extent both sides reconcile their differences and evolve a consensus on major thorny issues.

Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Saturday that the country will raise ₹215 billion through taxes in a final attempt to meet the loan conditions set by the IMF. 

Two days ago, IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva appealed to PM Sharif to address policy disagreements among the global lender’s staff before obtaining a crucial loan for economic stabilization.

The global lender has signed a deal with Pakistan to provide it USD 6 billion if it fulfills certain conditions. The plan faced multiple setbacks and the complete reimbursement is yet to be finalized due to the donor’s insistence on Pakistan fulfilling all formalities.

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