IMF giving tough time to finance minister, team during talks: PM Shehbaz

IMF giving tough time to finance minister, team during talks: PM Shehbaz

Islamabad (Staff Report/Agencies): Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation, which is visiting the country for discussions on the ninth review of a $7 billion loan programme, is giving Pakistan “a tough time” — as the lender wants the government to do more on the economic front.

“Our economic challenge at this moment is unimaginable. The conditions we have to fulfil for completing the IMF review are beyond imagination,” Shehbaz said while addressing an Apex Committee meeting in Peshawar.

However, the country had no choice but to implement the conditions, he added.

Earlier, the IMF has decreased the GDP growth rate projection for Pakistan from 3.5% to 2% for the fiscal year 2023.

According to IMF’s World Economic Outlook (WEO), issued on Tuesday, the country’s GDP growth rate would rebound in the next fiscal 2023-24 up to 4.4%.

Talks between Pakistan and IMF on Tuesday started in Islamabad to strike a staff-level agreement on the ninth review under the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

The IMF’s review mission had arrived in Islamabad on Monday and both sides are holding the toughest ever parleys for making renewed efforts to accomplish the pending ninth review under the $7 billion EFF.

Pakistan and the IMF will hold technical-level talks from Tuesday to Friday and then the policy-level talks will commence finalising the Memorandum of Financial and Economic Policies (MEFP) document.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar received the IMF mission Chief Nathen Porter upon his arrived at the Finance Ministry.