Pakistan Shows Intention for New IMF Loan Program

Pakistan Shows Intention for New IMF Loan Program

Islamabad, April 4, 2024 – Pakistan has expressed its intention to enter into another loan program with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to strengthen and consolidate its economy.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif made this announcement during a cabinet meeting held on Thursday.

Prime Minister Sharif emphasized the importance of entering into a new program with the IMF, stating that it would play a crucial role in consolidating the country’s economy. He highlighted that such a program would enhance international trust in Pakistan and provide the necessary support to advance the agenda of development and prosperity with confidence.

He disclosed that the Finance Minister would lead a delegation to Washington later this month to participate in the IMF spring meetings and discuss the details of the new program. While acknowledging that the terms of the new deal might not be easy, Prime Minister Sharif assured that the government would strive to alleviate the burden of tough conditions, particularly for the less privileged, while ensuring the country’s economic stability.

The Prime Minister expressed hope that the last tranche of the existing standby agreement, worth $1.1 billion, would be disbursed to Pakistan this month following the IMF board meeting.

Regarding the privatization process of Pakistan International Airlines (PIA), Prime Minister Sharif affirmed that it was progressing as planned, and the schedule set for the process would be fully adhered to. He also mentioned that discussions with a Turkish company regarding the outsourcing of airports would commence on April 6.

In addressing the digitization of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), the Prime Minister informed that consultants for the digitization process would be appointed by the end of the current month, indicating the government’s commitment to modernizing tax administration and improving revenue collection.

Prime Minister Sharif further discussed his recent chairing of the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) meeting, where detailed discussions were held on various sectors, including finance, investment, exports, Information Technology, agriculture, power, and petroleum. He expressed his personal commitment to reviewing sector-wise performance to address challenges and streamline the country’s economy.

On matters concerning judiciary inquiries and security issues, Prime Minister Sharif assured that the government would handle them responsibly and ensure thorough investigations to uncover the truth.

The cabinet meeting also addressed various administrative matters, including the approval of appointments and the closure of certain departments in line with the government’s austerity policy.

As Pakistan navigates its economic challenges and strives for sustainable growth, the intention to engage with the IMF reflects the government’s commitment to implementing measures aimed at strengthening the country’s financial resilience and fostering economic prosperity.