Ishaq Dar off to US for IMF, World Bank talks
Finance Minister will request the Fund to review its programme targets set for flood-ravaged Pakistan including budget, current account deficits: Will request for a freeze on PDL and fuel cost on electricity: Ninth review with IMF is scheduled to be held
October 11, 2022 01:31 PM
Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Tuesday left for the US to hold talks with the IMF and the World Bank officials, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.
According to sources, the newly-installed finance Czar will take part in the meetings of International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.
Sources revealed that it is expected that Dar would request the Fund to review its programme targets set for the flood-ravaged Pakistan.
He will submit a formal request to the IMF for the reevaluation of its 2022-23 macroeconomic framework for Pakistan. He recently had said that during the IMF officials meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif in New York they had agreed to lend an ear to Pakistan's request.
They said that the Fund would be requested to lower the targets of Pakistan budget and current account deficits.
The IMF would also be entreated to soften its conditions pertaining to provision of extended loan facility.
Sources said that Dar would also hold talks with the global lender on the freezing of Petroleum Development Levy (PDL) and electricity fuel adjustment price.
The PML-N government on September 30 announced a cut of around five per cent in the prices of all petroleum products for the next fortnight.
However, his predecessor Ismail Miftah cautioned Dar in a tweet saying, “You did violate the agreement you made with the IMF. You agreed to increase Sales Tax to 17% but reduced it to zero. You agreed to raise Petrol Levy every month by Rs 4 to Rs 30 but brought it to zero. You agreed to not give amnesty but gave one anyway.”
But new Finance Minister Dar snapped he knew how to deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and no one had to worry about anything regarding it any more.
Under the deal with the IMF, the government had to gradually increase the PDL on petroleum products to a maximum of Rs50 per litre to collect Rs855 billion during the current fiscal year.
After coming to power in April, the PML-N-led coalition government refrained from increasing the prices immediately. However, since May 15, the government has been increasing the prices in line with the IMF deal. As Pakistan battled with the flood catastrophe, the government had requested the IMF managing director for a three-month freeze on the PDL and fuel cost on electricity.
It is pertinent to mention here that the ninth review with the IMF is scheduled to be held on October 25.
While talking to journalists on Monday, Finance Minister Dar ruled out rescheduling of international debt from wealthy western nations under Paris Club. He, however, said that rescheduling of bilateral debt was fine.
Reporter Waqas Azeem