IMF presses Pakistan to secure external financing ahead of board meeting


IMF

By Shahzad Paracha

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan has been directed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure external financing before the lender’s executive board meeting, which is scheduled for December 7.

The meeting is expected to review and approve Pakistan’s case for the second installment of $700 million under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Sources privy to the matter said that the IMF had made external financing a mandatory requirement for Pakistan in the recent negotiations before the release of $700 million. Pakistan needs $25 billion in external financing for the current fiscal year, sources in Finance Division told HUM News English.

The sources said that Pakistan had informed the IMF that it would receive $1.2 billion from Exim Bank and $1 billion from GCC countries. Moreover, China had also assured Pakistan of rolling over more loans for two years.

UAE assures IMF to bridge Pakistan’s $6.5billion external financing gap

The sources also said that Pakistan had assured the IMF of maintaining market-based exchange rates and expanding the tax net.

The Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had pledged to bring the property and retail sectors into the tax net. The sources added that Pakistani authorities had told the IMF that they would add one million more taxpayers this fiscal year.

Furthermore, the sources said that the IMF had advised a strict monetary policy to curb inflation and a hike in electricity and gas tariffs to reduce circular debt.

The sources noted that the caretaker government might discuss a new loan program in February before the general election, and share a dossier on the economy with the incoming elected government.

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