Matters with IMF will be settled ‘soon’, assures Dar

IMF issues would be resolved “soon,” according to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, who promised the business community on Sunday. This will allow the stalled $6.5 billion bailout package intended to prevent financial default to resume.

Speaking at an Iftar dinner held in honour of foreign diplomats by the Islamabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (ICCI), Dar stated that friendly nations should fulfil their promises to Pakistan in order to complete the deal with the IMF and recover the economy.

His remarks were made in the shadow of the revived IMF agreement, which would have provided the nation with much-needed funding of $1.1 billion.

The government has staked its hopes on the realisation of Geneva commitments to partially close the $6 billion financial shortfall amid the widening trust gap with the IMF as a result of its decision to provide subsidies on gasoline despite an impending default, according to The Express Tribune on Saturday.

While Pakistan and the IMF were still working out the specifics of how the $6 billion would be financed, Islamabad shocked the international lender by announcing a Rs50 per litre gasoline subsidy.

The decision to provide the subsidy sent a signal to the rest of the world that the Pakistani government was still not committed to cleaning up its act. Before the formal virtual conversations ended, sources claim that both parties were talking about the specifics of the $6 billion financing.

Pakistan lacked concrete information regarding the financing of the remaining amount, with the exception of the $3 billion known pledges by Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

In his speech today, Dar stated that although Pakistan’s economy was predicted to grow in 2016 and rank as the 18th-strongest in the world, it was currently suffering significant difficulties.

He declared that Pakistan would not go into default and that the administration was doing everything in its power to help the country get out of its predicament and back on the path to long-term economic progress.

He commended the ICCI for taking the effort to organise an Iftar supper for diplomats.