Friday June 14, 2024

Matters with IMF will be settled soon: Dar

Government reportedly placed its bets on the materialisation of Geneva pledges to partially meet the $6 billion financing gap

March 27, 2023
Former finance minister Ishaq Dar. — AFP
Former finance minister Ishaq Dar. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar assured the business community on Sunday that matters with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be settled soon to revive the stalled $6.5 billion bailout package aimed at averting financial default.

Addressing an Iftar dinner hosted by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI) in honour of foreign diplomats, Dar said that friendly countries were expected to materialise their commitments with Pakistan, which would pave the way to close the deal with the IMF and revive the economy. His statement comes amid uncertainty surrounding the revival of the IMF deal that would unlock $1.1 billion in much-needed funds for the country.

The media reported on Saturday that the government had placed its bets on the materialisation of Geneva pledges to partially meet the $6 billion financing gap amid the deepening trust deficit with the IMF because of its decision to give a subsidy on petrol despite a looming default.

Both Pakistan and the IMF were still finalising the details about the source of financing of $6 billion when Islamabad shocked the global lender by announcing a Rs50 per litre petrol subsidy. The decision has given a message to the rest of the world that the Pakistani authorities were still not serious to bring its house in order. Sources said that before formal virtual conversations ended, both the sides were discussing the contours of the $6 billion financing.

Except for the $3 billion known assurances by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates Pakistan lacked firm details about the financing of the remaining amount.

In Sunday’s address, Dar said that in 2016 Pakistan was a rising economy as it was expected to become the world’s 18th strongest economy but was now facing serious economic challenges.

He said that Pakistan would not default and the government was making all possible efforts to steer it out of a difficult situation and to put it on the path of sustainable economic growth.