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Pakistan, IMF reach agreement of bailout package: Hafeez Shaikh

Pakistan, IMF reach agreement of bailout package: Hafeez Shaikh
May 13, 2019
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Adviser to Prime Minister on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh announced on Sunday that Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have reached an agreement of the bailout package. In an interview with state-run television channel, the adviser said that Pakistan and IMF has reached an agreement on a $ 6 billion bailout package. Abdul Hafeez Shaikh also said that the bailout package will be given within 39 months time. He also explained that the federal government approved the bailout package, however, now the IMF board will have to give the approval. “Pakistan is awaiting the decision of IMF, he added. The adviser mentioned that the positive message would be prevailed worldwide and other financial institution will also provide two to three billion dollars. He also announced that this bailout package of Pakistan would be final package with the IMF. “The removal of subsidy to the rich people will prove in the country’s interest,” he said. Abdul Hafeez also said that the amount for the Ehsas Programme would be doubled as 180 billion rupees. He said that 75 per cent electricity consumers of the country utilized less than 300 units, however, they will not be loaded the burden of hike in prices of electricity. The adviser further said that the administrative reformations will have to be implemented for the long-term progress and prosperity of the country. “If the subsidy will remove for the rich people than it will be proved in better interest of the country,” he said. A day earlier, the draft for International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package has been prepared as Pakistan accepted the major demands of IMF on Saturday. According to the sources of Finance Ministry, Pakistan has accepted major demands of the IMF for bailout package in the draft agreement. However, It also said that over strict terms and conditions posed by the IMF on Pakistan for a bailout package, Prime Minister Imran Khan has expressed reservations. The sources further said that the premier seeks soft terms and conditions from the IMF regarding inflation, particularly relaxation in a larger tax rebates and exemptions. Moreover, PM Khan has directed concerned officials to persuade the IMF for a reduced tax collection target. It was reported that the government has accepted several demands of the IMF, including the increase in electricity and gas prices in the country. The Pakistani officials bowed down before the IMF and accepted the condition for removing subsidy on agriculture, devaluation of rupees as wells as hiking the percentage rate of interest. According to the spokesperson of Finance Ministry, it said only that “We have made good progress in our discussions with the visiting IMF mission. Consultations will continue over the weekend.”