Ishaq Dar Said Pakistan is ‘Very Close’ To Signing Agreement With IMF

BUSINESS:The International Monetary Fund (IMF) was “satisfied” with Pakistan’s actions, according to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday, but the staff-level agreement could not be signed this week.

Dar said in his speech at a seminar in the federal capital titled “Reviving Economic Stability through the Strengthening of Public Financial Management,” “We seem to be very close to signing the staff-level agreement hopefully in the next few days.”

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However, the finance minister shared that “it has taken longer than it should have” for Islamabad to complete the pending ninth review, citing his experience completing 12 reviews of the “one and only” IMF program Pakistan completed.

Dar stated, “I think we owe this nation that we show seriousness, deliver, and demonstrate to the world that we can honor the sovereign commitments, regardless of who made those.” He additionally guaranteed that his group was “totally dedicated” to finishing the program to the “best” of their capacity.

Dar discussed the state of the economy following the departure of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government in 2018 while criticizing the government led by Imran Khan.

After it was predicted that Pakistan would join the G20 by the end of 2030, the minister stated that it hurt him to see the economy fall to 47th place in 2022.

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The Pakistan Stock Exchange’s (PSX) market capitalization, which was previously over $100 billion, has decreased to $26 billion in recent years, according to the finance czar.

The finance minister stated, “Another serious issue that we should be pondering about is the debt sustainability of Pakistan.” He went on to say that it was less than $30 trillion in 2018 and will reach $55 trillion in 2022.

Dar stated, “As a consequence, this country, which had debt servicing of less than $2 trillion annually in the fiscal year 2016-17 has risen to over $5 trillion.”

The finance minister stated, “I think we should see what mistakes we have made on the economic front in the last few years, and we should try to correct those as soon as possible.”

Later, in response to a journalist’s question, the finance minister stated that the agreement would not be finalized this week.

The finance minister stated, “Staff-level agreement with IMF is unlikely this week,” and added that the Fund was “satisfied” with Pakistan’s actions.

Dar responded, when asked if he had promised to strike the SLA by this week: I didn’t say this week, but a few days.