Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Thursday that Pakistan is close to reaching an agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“My team and I have a duty to finish this [IMF] program as far as possible… We seem to be very close to signing the staff-level agreement in the next few days,” said Dar.
Speaking at a seminar in Islamabad, the minister said that the country was currently facing several challenges and said that the coalition government had been handed a “shattered” economy.
He said that “the government is trying to revive the economy and will soon overcome the economic difficulties.”
“To promote it [off], the previous government agreed to a loan facility extended by the IMF. Unfortunately, instead of fulfilling the obligations, they did not follow through, but changed some of the conditions they had previously fulfilled before leaving office. This has led to a serious trust deficit between development partners and Pakistan,” he continued.
However, Dar assured that whatever happens, the previous government’s agreements will be fulfilled.
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The financial czar said that Pakistan’s economic problems have worsened since 2018 due to former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s deviation from the IMF program.
Dar also alleged that the previous government had “undermined the credibility of development institutions” and said that “Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) misguided policies led to lack of foreign investment and widening of the budget deficit.”
Pakistan and the IMF are fast approaching a staff-level agreement. Several issues are pending in addition to finalizing the Memorandum on Economic and Financial Policy (EMP), the set of policies the country will implement for the rest of the current fiscal year.
A day earlier, Central Bank Governor Jameel Ahmad said the Staff Level Agreement (SLA) with the Fund was “close to completion” but declined to specify a date amid his forecast of lower non-debt inflows.