Pakistan is requesting additional funds and period of its $6 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) initiative, according to Miftah Ismail, the country’s finance minister.
Ismail made the remarks in a statement released on Monday following IMF talks in Washington. It came after fund announced that Islamabad had agreed to reduce subsidies in the power sectors and oil Sectors ahead of a review of the IMF’s support to the country, which will resume next month.
“I requested the fund, and I think they have agreed to prolong this initiative for another year,” he stated. “I’ve also urged that they increase the funds available to Pakistan under this programme from $6 billion to possibly a little bit more.”
Details would be worked out when the expedition arrives in Pakistan in May, he added.
“Based on productive conversations with authorities in Washington,” the IMF stated in a statement, “the IMF intends to deploy a delegation to Pakistan in May to start negotiations about plans for finishing the 7th EFF review.”
This covers the $6 billion in assistance that the IMF agreed to extend to Pakistan in 2019. The IMF terminated Pakistan’s loan in 2020 after the country fails to satisfy the terms. The idea was renewed last year when former Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration agreed to stiffer terms, including hiking gasoline prices and energy rates, though he pulled back the hikes a few months later to appease popular outrage over growing living costs.
The IMF also stated that Pakistani officials had requested that the EFF arrangement be extended until June 2023, after the agreement in Washington to discontinue the subsidies.
Pakistan will provide more than $2 billion in subsidies to the petroleum and electricity sectors between April and June.
According to former finance minister Shaukat Tarin, the IMF has previously expressed concern about how the government would fund this without incurring a large budget imbalance.
If the IMF assessment is approved, Pakistan will receive more than $900 million, which will open the door to more foreign assistance.
The IMF’s negotiations with Pakistan will take place next month despite the backdrop of rallies led by Khan, who is pushing for early elections. National elections must be conducted in Pakistan by 2023, according to the country’s statutes.
Since loosing a no-confidence vote in April, which he claims was staged by the US, Imran Khan has collected a big following of demonstrators around the nation, indicating that he has some support, which may dissuade investors if the protests turn violent.
Khan intends to hold further demonstrations, and supporters plan to protest just at election commission headquarters on Tuesday. At a rally last Friday, Imran Khan stated that Pakistan’s economy was on the right track under his government and that the nation will be free of the “IMF’s enslavement.”
Instead, he told the thousands of demonstrators gathering in Lahore that the American and various political groups had “toppled our administration via a plot.”