The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is insisting on three demands to move towards a staff-level agreement, including closing the gap between the interbank and open market exchange rates of the foreign exchange, a revised budget framework for the previous and current fiscal years, and providing and arranging external financing.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has comforted the nation as usual and said that the country has suffered due to the previous government’s breach of promise, the country has faced the worst restrictions in the past, even then it came out of difficulties and the current difficult times. Will come out soon. The Finance Minister’s address to the officials of the Lahore and Faisalabad Chambers of Commerce and Industry at the FBR headquarters shows that everything is in place for the 9th review of the IMF.
The news of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s telephone conversation with the head of the IMF for about an hour has also come out, the topic of which can be nothing but the quick recovery of the IMF programme in the difficulties faced by Pakistan. Although the IMF does not comment on the country’s politics, the news of Reuters shows that the IMF mission chief for Pakistan, Nathan Porter, referring to the political stability of Pakistan, expressed hope that according to the constitution and law, a peaceful way forward will be found.
According to the IMF head, the IMF is in touch with Pakistani officials for the board meeting and is also assessing internal politics. Internal politics is a subject in which external institutions should not in principle be interested, however, the party that lends to the other party should be satisfied with various aspects including its stability, working methods and strong prospects of repaying the loan. It is important to keep in mind. In the way Pakistan’s internal situation has been going for many years and in the current situation, it is not possible for the lending party to ignore the important factor of internal stability. In this regard, it is the responsibility of all, including the domestic government, opposition and civil society circles, to play a positive role in the country’s stability. This role can be played only by facilitating the atmosphere of understanding.
The current economic situation is reflected in the monthly economic outlook report issued by the Ministry of Finance, which shows the possibility of improvement in crops, reduction in the prices of petroleum products, reduction of pressure on local prices, and inflation in the country. It is reported that the wave will continue, the inflation rate will be 34 to 36 percent in May, and the budget deficit will increase by 11.7 percent. Encouragingly, investors have been buoyed by the encouraging statement from government circles and the head of the IMF Pakistan, which was reflected in the bullish trend in the stock market on both days of the week.
The solution to the critical juncture in which the country is currently standing is not to increase tension, but to reduce it. Consensus on a comprehensive plan of action through coordination and understanding on the rule of law is the need of the hour.