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PM reiterates Pakistan's commitment to IMF with British investors

Premier Kakar meets “senior leaders of London’s capital and financial market” at the Pakistan House

By Web Desk
September 25, 2023
British investors pose for a photograph with Caretaker PM Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar at the Pakistan House in London. — PID
British investors pose for a photograph with Caretaker PM Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar at the Pakistan House in London. — PID

LONDON: In a bid to woo British investors, Caretaker Prime Minister Anwaar-ul-Haq Kakar reiterated to them Pakistan's commitment to the $3 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) stand-by agreement and assured that his government will take reforms as per its commitment to the global lender.

According to the PM Office on Monday, the premier made the assurance during his meeting with “senior leaders of London’s capital and financial market” at the Pakistan House.

The notable investment firms represented at this gathering included Fidelity International Limited (FIL), Wellington Management, Ashmore, Jefferies International, Redwheel Capital, Switex Industrial SA, Oxford Frontier Capital, GuarantCo, JP Morgan, Kalrock Capital, and UBL UK.

In their meeting, the British investors enquired about the continuity of the IMF programme in Pakistan and reform efforts from the short to medium term.

“The prime minister assured them that Pakistan had expressed its commitment to the IMF programme by undertaking reforms committed with the IMF. The investors expressed their keen interest in exploring promising investment opportunities in the financial and capital market of Pakistan, reflecting a growing mutual interest in expanding economic collaboration,” the statement said.

The interim PM also highlighted Pakistan's pro-investment efforts including the formation of the the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC).

He briefed the delegation on Pakistan's current economic landscape and highlighted the government’s measures for external account improvement.

“Recent administrative actions strengthened the Pakistani rupee against the US dollar, fostering optimism for stability,” the premier said. He added that the positive indicators, including inflows from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and friendly nations, contributed to reduced inflation, stabilised reserves, and revival of industrial growth.

The premier also spoke about the potential for foreign direct investment in Pakistan's key sectors and the positive impact of the stand-by arrangement (SBA) with the IMF, exceeding expectations and stabilising the economy and currency.

PM Kakar also highlighted economic improvements such as reduced inflation with expected sustained decline, and upcoming growth in agriculture and industry. He mentioned improved trade after the removal of restrictions on imports and fiscal measures for monetary support and medium-term inflation targets.

IMF wants Pakistan to tax the rich to protect poor

Premier Kakar arrived in the United Kingdom after attending the United Nations General Assembly session in New York.

On the sidelines of the UNGA, the premier had also met the IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

In the meeting, the IMF had advised Pakistan to tax the wealthy to provide relief to the poor segment of society.

In an exclusive conversation with Geo News after meeting with caretaker PM Kakar, Georgieva had said: “Of course, it is difficult but Pakistan has to do it in line with the IMF programme as we stand by the people of Pakistan.”

To a question, she had said it is in the interest of the people of Pakistan that the country revitalises its economy and addresses some of the “shortcomings” of the past, about reforms the lender is asking the country to execute.

Pakistan has signed a $3 billion bailout package with the IMF under which it has agreed to restructure the bleeding energy sector, introduce reforms in state-owned enterprises, and increase tax collection.

However, the steps taken by the government have made lives difficult for the masses as a massive hike in electricity and petrol prices has pushed inflation to a record level.

The IMF had rejected the proposals floated by the caretaker government to provide relief amid skyrocketing food and energy prices.