- Minister hopes Pakistan to get IMF deal by this week.
- Says Pakistan took measures needed to unfreeze $6.5bn credit line.
- Pakistan took steps including cutting subsidies, hiking taxes.
ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Commerce, Syed Naveed Qamar said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) was likely to announce its staff level agreement (SLA) on Extended Fund Facility (EFF) with Pakistan by this week.
“Pakistan has taken all the measures needed to unfreeze a $6.5 billion credit line and expects to clinch the deal any day now, ” he said in an interview with Bloomberg.
Meanwhile, Minister of State for Finance Dr Aisha Ghaus Pasha said, speaking at the National Assembly earlier this week, that Pakistan and the international lender are close to striking a Staff Level Agreement (SLA). However, she added that Pakistan is required to undertake basic structural reforms whether under the IMF program or without the IMF.
After formal announcement by the Fund, Pakistan would get a $1.2 billion tranche under the Extended Fund Facility.
Qamar said that the IMF agreement would give investors and creditors the confidence that “Pakistan’s economy is now stabilizing and it has taken all the right steps.” So in that sense, their money would remain protected, he added.
The minister said, “The IMF programme is the beginning, not the culmination, of all other monies flowing in.”
“A pickup in imports once the nation boosts its reserves will also benefit exports,” he added.
Pakistan authorities have taken steps including increasing taxes, cutting subsidies and devaluing its currency to meet IMF conditions, Bloomberg reported.
It is pertinent to mention that the National Assembly on Monday passed the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, 2023, aimed at amending certain laws relating to taxes and duties.