ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif will address the nation after talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the revival of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) are finalised, said the well-placed sources.
“The prime minister will take the nation into confidence on the deal with the IMF,” the sources said, while sharing the inside details of the cabinet meeting held today.
PM Shahbaz told the participants of the meeting that the recent hike in petroleum prices is nothing to do with IMF talks. He maintained that the government raised the prices of petroleum products to pass on the impact of rising international prices to the consumers.
He hoped that their talks with the IMF will be fruitful and vowed to overcome the ongoing economic crisis soon.
Meanwhile, Khawaja Saad Rafique opposed the transfers and postings on a political basis and said that they should focus on their work as they came into power for a limited time.
Finance Minister Miftah Ismail told the cabinet that the recent massive hike in petroleum prices is linked with the commodity’s global prices. He said that it was the first budget in which taxes are imposed only on the rich while relief is given to the poor.
The finance minister said that they will hold the next round of talks with the IMF’s officials today and tomorrow night.
The federal cabinet meeting also gave its nod to issue Sukuk bonds, the sources said, adding that the bonds will help reduce the burden of local debts.
The federal government has decided to issue Sukuk bonds by mortgaging five state-owned properties; including Islamabad Express Highway, Islamabad Sports Complex, Makran Highway and all areas free from legal obstructions, the sources said.
‘Govt is ready to make more difficult decisions’
While speaking after the cabinet meeting, PM Shahbaz Sharif warned that the government was ready to make more difficult decisions if needed, hoping that the rich people will support the nation in these difficult times.
The premier again blamed the previous PTI-led government’s poor performance for the deteriorating economic conditions. “The previous government reduced the price of petrol and laid a trap for the next government,” he said, adding that the economic conditions are worsening across the world as commodity prices are rising.
PM Shahbaz revealed that the current coalition government is giving Rs2,000 to 700 million deserving people.
“The previous government did not work for the betterment of the people of the country and also breached the agreement signed with the International Monetary Fund (IMF),” he said, assuring that despite all the hurdles the government will bring Pakistan out of the difficult phase.
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