PM Shehbaz hopeful of IMF deal as all conditions met despite economic hardship


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Friday hoped the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would resume the stalled bailout programme as Pakistan had already met “all” prior conditions despite economic hardships.

The premier’s speech came ahead of the revelation of the budget for the fiscal year 2023-24, which the government claims to have shared with the IMF.

The budget needs to satisfy the IMF to secure the release of more bailout money for the crisis-struck country, which is due to hold a general election by November.

“The ninth review will be complete soon,” PM Shehbaz said during his address to the federal cabinet of the coalition government, which will present its second budget.

Referring to the devastating floods triggered by climate change, he said that it inflicted losses worth over $30 billion on the country’s economy. He added that the Ukraine crisis also pushed the prices of commodities in the international market.

“A country’s sound economic growth is linked with its political stability,” the premier said, adding that without political stability, even billions of budget could not make a difference in improving the economic situation.

The government, he further said, is cognisant of the problems being faced by the common man due to inflation. “We have to take care of the salaried class as well as the pensioners so that they can meet their basic requirements.”

He maintained that for the last 14 months, the government since assumption of power was to deal with the challenge of the IMF, the post-flood situation and global inflation.

The PM also expressed satisfaction that the current deficit in 10 months was reduced to $3.3 billion and hoped that the agriculture sector would boost.

He said it is a matter of satisfaction that the country has managed to bring down the current account deficit to 3.3 billion dollars regardless of internal and external challenges.