Peshawar: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has said that the International Monetary Fund is giving Pakistan very tough time saying that its demands are unimaginable but we have to accept them out of compulsion. The prime minister expressed these remarks while addressing the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Apex Committee at Governor’s House in Peshawar on Friday. He said that country is facing an extremely difficult economic challenge. “
“The IMF is giving us a very tough time. But we can’t do anything. We have to accept their unimaginable conditions,” he added. The IMF delegation, headed by Nathan Porter, and the government began the make-or-break discussions on the completion of the ninth review on Tuesday. Pakistan needs to complete the review to avoid looming default.
After these remarks of Prime Minister Shehbaz, the Pakistani rupee tumbled drastically and started trading at the historic low of Rs278.67 in the interbank. According to Bloomberg, the PKR and dollar bonds declined after the premier said the IMF is giving the nation a tough time in the ongoing loan talks. As meetings began, the IMF mission chief sounded adamant on upfront, calibrated and strong measures to bridge the daunting fiscal gap – between Rs2 trillion to Rs2.5tr.
The IMF delegation has asked the government to jack up the Federal Board of Revenue’s (FBR) tax collection target to align it with the projected nominal growth in the current fiscal year mainly with the help of a surge in the CPI-based inflationary pressures. The IMF rejected the government’s circular debt management plan. The Fund had set several conditions for resuming the bailout, including a market-determined exchange rate for the local currency and an easing of fuel subsidies. The central bank recently removed a cap on exchange rates and the government raised fuel prices by 16pc.
During the Apex Committee meeting, PM Shehbaz lashed out at PTI Chairman Imran Khan without mentioning his name that the leader of a certain party was ready to take measures to let the terrorists get settled but he is not ready to shake hands with his own people. “This double standard of him will not do,” he added. Shehbaz said that terrorists are not occupying even an inch of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. “They just roam about here and there. Who brought them here? They were settled here in a hurry. The nation wants answer of these questions,” he demanded.