April 20, 2024
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By Gibran Naiyyar Peshimam and Ariba Shahid
Finance Minister of Pakistan says it’s unclear if Pakistan will complete the IMF review, or be able restructuring its bilateral debt. Announcing that he wouldn’t approach Paris club nations creditors, or request haircuts, the finance minister reiterated his position.

Ishaq Da told reporters that after the release of the budget 2023-24, “We will see how the things progress.” He was speaking about Pakistan’s ongoing negotiations with the IMF over its stagnant bailout fund.

Dar said: “In both cases, we will speak to bilateral creditors. “.

Pakistan is still struggling to agree on a deal with IMF, and the IMF’s programme will end this month. Inflation is at a record high, there are fiscal imbalances as well as a low level of reserves to cover imports for a single month.

Pakistan was owed $37 Billion to bi-lateral creditors as of the fiscal year of 2021. Of this amount, $23 Billion is due to China.

Dar stated that during his Saturday news conference, 3.5% was an “attainable target”.

Dar was hopeful that Pakistan will pass its next IMF evaluation, Pakistan’s ninth. But he did not think it would.

Pakistan’s GDP (gross domestic product) is expected to grow only 0.29%, and the fiscal gap will be just 6.54%, according to the budget.

Dar, in his Saturday budget address, said that the target fiscal deficit could not be reduced any further.

In order for Pakistan to receive funding from the IMF under its ninth, long delayed review it will need to secure credible and firm financing commitments. This includes closing the $6 billion shortfall in its foreign reserve.

Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and other countries have only committed $4 billion towards the project.

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