close
Saturday January 28, 2023

‘We’ll have to sacrifice politics to save Pakistan’: All IMF terms acceptable, says PM Shehbaz Sharif

PM Shehbaz categorically stated that Pakistan wanted to complete the IMF Ninth Review, and was ready to accept all the conditions of the International Monetary Fund

By News Desk
January 25, 2023
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaking at the launch of Youth Business and Agricultural Loan Scheme in Islamabad on January 24, 2023. PID
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif speaking at the launch of Youth Business and Agricultural Loan Scheme in Islamabad on January 24, 2023. PID 

ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Tuesday categorically stated that Pakistan wanted to complete the IMF Ninth Review, and was ready to accept all the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

Speaking at the launch of Youth Business and Agricultural Loan Scheme here, the prime minister said the IMF had been conveyed that Pakistan wanted to complete the 9th Review and the latter unequivocally assured us that it stood by Pakistan and would help it get out of the financial crunch.

Shehbaz said the coalition government would live up to its commitment of sparing no effort to save Pakistan adding that nobody would be allowed to throw the money around lent by the international financial institutions (IFIs), reports Geo News.

The premier said practical steps were more important than making announcements to save the money spent on oil import. He said the government of a province got a stay from the court against the closure of shops at 8pm, while another provincial government adopted delaying tactics.

“If we have to save Pakistan, then we will have to sacrifice our politics. I will sacrifice my politics for the sake of Pakistan. We all will have to accept responsibility for the current circumstances. Nobody has clean hands. We [the politicians] and the martial law regimes are equally responsible for it. Whatever we did in the last 75 years is now staring us in the face,” Shehbaz said.

Earlier in the day, Pakistan and IMF officials held negotiations via video link. Secretary Finance Hamid Yaqub Sheikh represented Pakistan, while Mission Chief Jonathon Porter led the IMF team, Geo News reported. According to sources, the Pakistani delegation gave a briefing on the current economic situation and committed to accomplish the revenue target. The IMF delegation was also briefed about the expenses incurred on the projects related to floods.

According to the sources, the Pakistani delegation also informed the Mission Chief about the government’s decision to increase the gas prices. The new gas prices will be enforced from July 1, 2022 and the federal cabinet will soon approve the increase. It was further informed that the gas circular debt was also being retired, while levy on the petroleum products will also be increased in phases.

The sources said the IMF team also demanded that the rupee depreciation should not be tackled through artificial means. It was also demanded that the Government of Pakistan abolish the subsidy on power and take effective steps to increase the tax-to-GDP ratio.

Comments