Pakistan, IMF likely to reach agreement in June, says finance minister

Pakistan is expected to reach an agreement with the IMF next month to reintroduce an enhanced bailout package to support the cash-starved country’s economy, Finance Minister Mifta Ismail has said.

Pakistan has been repeatedly seeking international aid to support its declining economy.

Talks are taking place with the International Monetary Fund in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

He said the country is expected to require foreign funding of $36-37 billion in the next fiscal.

Speaking at a webinar on Saturday at the Nutshell Conference and the National Dialogue on Economy: The Way Forward for Pakistan organized by the Corporate Pakistan Group, Ismail revealed that at present the government is not considering raising fresh foreign loans from global capital markets and commercial banks. has been As The Express Tribune reports, nearly a third of the country’s international bonds have fallen in value, while their yields have risen significantly.

He said that controlling inflation is the top priority of the government rather than economic development.

He said that inflation control will boost economic growth.

Giving details of the need for external funding, Ismail said that Pakistan has to repay the foreign debt of US $ 21 billion in the next financial year.

In addition, the country would need another 10-15 billion dollars to meet the current account deficit.

The government is aiming to increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves by $5 billion to $15 billion next year.

Therefore, it is necessary to enter into an IMF loan program (worth USD 6 billion) to arrange the necessary financing, Ismail said on talks with the global crisis lender that began in Doha on May 18.

The Finance Minister invited all political parties to prepare the Charter of the Economy, which may include a minimum economic agenda by setting aside political differences.

Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide a “big package” of around USD 8 billion to Pakistan to help the cash-starved country bolster its dwindling foreign exchange reserves and revive its ailing economy.

Pakistan secured the deal during Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif’s visit to Saudi Arabia. The financial package includes doubling of the oil financing facility, additional funding through deposits or sukuks and addition of existing facilities to the tune of USD 4.2 billion.

‘Imran reached Zardari before the vote’

A leaked audio recording of an alleged telephonic conversation between former Pakistan President Asif Ali Zardari and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain has surfaced, in which Riyaz is heard saying that ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan wants to reach out to Zardari for reconciliation talks. Were. A no-confidence motion was moved in Parliament last month.

Iran unveils drone base at undisclosed location

Iranian state television broadcast footage of an air force base for drones under the Zagros mountain range in the country’s west. The exact location of the base was not disclosed, although a TV reporter said it traveled by a helicopter for about 40 minutes to reach it from the city of Kermanshah.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is generated automatically from a syndicated feed.)

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