PTI hints at withdrawing support for IMF programme if elections not held fairly


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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) has suggested that it may consider withdrawing support for the Stand By Agreement (SBA) within The International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme if the upcoming elections, scheduled for February 8, 2024, are not conducted freely and fairly.

The Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies issued by IMF reads that the Fund staff has met with representatives of Pakistan’s major political parties—Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, Pakistan People’s Party, and Pakistan Tehreek Insaf—to seek confirmation of their support for the SBA program given the approaching parliamentary elections.

PML-N and PPP expressed written support for the SBA’s key objectives and policies.

They also recognised the role that the SBA will play in preserving macroeconomic stability by anchoring policies and supporting external financing over the coming months.

PTI which had also supported the SBA in July, issued a
statement noting the importance of free and fair elections to the successful implementation of the Fund-supported programme.

The MEFP states that political parties have agreed with the IMF that they will not grant any further increases in salaries and pensions beyond those in FY24Q1 and these items will remain within their FY24 appropriated limits.

In addition, the FBR will issue 900 thousand tax notices to non filers, identified by FBR, to expand the tax base.

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Moreover, the political parties have also agreed that they shall limit energy subsidies primarily through the continued timely notification of quarterly and monthly power tariff adjustments, as determined by National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (NEPRA), the timely notification of the December 2023 semiannual gas tariff adjustment, as determined by the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA), and acceleration of structural cost-reducing reforms.

Besides, the Pakistani side has also agreed with IMF that it will create fiscal room to protect the generosity level of the BISP unconditional cash transfer (UCT) Kafaalat program in FY24 and expedite the PSDP prioritization and rationalization process in line with recommendations, aiming to achieve savings of at least Rs 61 billion

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