Government decides not to budget under new IMF requirements

PM Shehbaz strictly directs budgetary relief measures, boost employment, sources

Picture source - Reuters
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Pakistan has officially announced that the new International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan programme requirement will not be included by the government in the budget for the next fiscal year.

Details indicate that the Finance Ministry has taken the firm attitude that the government will not include the new loan programme conditions in the budget since the government has satisfied the requirements for the ninth economic review.

There have been strict directives from Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif regarding budgetary relief measures, and it has been agreed to take action to boost employment through the agricultural, industrial, and youth programmes, sources have said.

According to sources, there won’t be any severe choices made to enhance employment prospects in the budget, and the next budget will enforce economic restraint.

The administration has suggested a performance task force for loss-making government organizations and has resolved to take rigorous measures to eliminate the energy sector’s budgetary losses.

Although the federal government has fulfilled all the demands of the IMF but the series of enhanced demands from the global lender is really troubling.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif informed Kristalina Georgieva, the IMF’s managing director about Pakistan’s intention to obtain a new bailout amid a deadlock about an IMF bailout, in a discussion last week.

Additionally, IMF mission leader Nathan Porter’s Wednesday comment on the political climate of the country was condemned by Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, who said that the IMF shouldn’t “interfere in politically domestic” matters.

Pakistan’s current $6.5 billion plan was stalled, and efforts made over the past seven months to resuscitate it failed to bear fruit. The programme will be finished on June 30. Since November 2022, the staff-level agreement had been postponed.

On the directive of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, the finance ministry also provided the IMF with information regarding the next budget.