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IMF ready to support Pakistan, Christine Lagarde assures PM Khan

February 10, 2019

Prime Minister Imran Khan held a meeting with IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde in Dubai on Sunday.

The two met on the sidelines of the World Government Summit.

During the meeting, the prime minister appreciated IMF’s support to Pakistan and shared his vision for nation-building. He reiterated the government’s commitment to undertaking structural and governance reforms and strengthening social protection in the country, according to a press release by the Ministry of Finance.

Lagarde acknowledged the steps taken so far by Pakistan to stabilise its economy. She said the IMF will remain engaged in supporting Pakistan in sustaining its economic recovery.

The two sides agreed to work together on policy priorities and reforms aimed at reducing imbalances and laying the foundations of a job-creating growth path in Pakistan. In this regard, deliberations between Pakistani authorities and IMF staff will continue.

PM Khan arrived in Dubai earlier today and is being accompanied by Finance Minister Asad Umar and Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry.

Speaking to a British media outlet, Chaudhry had said that the meeting will help Pakistan understand the IMF’s point of view and allow it to present its arguments. The problem isn’t with the IMF deal, he explained. It’s with the conditions that go along with the financial aid package, he said.

We don’t want a deal that compromises Pakistan’s progress, said the information minister. He said they want a fair deal that can help Pakistan in the short-term without affecting our long-term goals.

PM Khan will also be making the key note address at the World Government Summit where he will underscore Pakistan’s strong interest in the knowledge economy, artificial intelligence, green development and the importance of innovation for growth. He is also expected to highlight his vision for a strong and prosperous Pakistan to encourage investment in the different sectors of Pakistan economy.

Related: To please IMF, Islamabad plans to rip off Sindh

Pakistan is in talks with the IMF for a loan package to shore up its dollar reserves so it can repay foreign debt and continue paying for essential imports such as oil, machinery and raw material that keep the economy going.

However, the IMF demands, among other things, that the federal government cut its budget deficit (loss).

The Centre’s deficit is more than Rs2 trillion because it spends more than it earns. Among its biggest expenditures are loan repayments and security costs. About 60% of the federal government’s budget goes to defense and repayment of previous loans.

The federal government can’t do much about debt servicing and defense, so it is trying to increase revenue to reduce its losses (deficit).

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