A deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will be signed soon enough as both sides enter a final round of crunch talks before making it official.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said on Thursday that talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are “on track” and that “good news will be announced soon.
Dar told the media that talks between the two sides had reached the final stage. Earlier on Wednesday, Dr. Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Minister of State for Finance, stated that an agreement had been reached with the IMF and that clearance had been obtained at the prime minister level.
More information is expected today while a technical-level breakthrough could be announced as early as tomorrow morning. This would potentially pave the way for both parties to start working on a staff-level agreement that would unlock a bailout tranche exceeding $1.1 billion for Pakistan.
Dar preaches Road Safety
Addressing the International Parliamentarians’ Congress in Islamabad yesterday, Dar gave his thanks to authorities for taking the important initiative in organizing the first such Conference for Parliamentarians on Road Safety in Pakistan.
Dar emphasized the importance of legislating laws and rules to ensure road safety. “As a participant in the conference, your contribution has added a new perspective to the discussions, and I am confident that your participation will help in building strong joint action plans on Road Safety,” he said.
The finance minister explained that the pressure on road infrastructure is increasing because other means of transport are relatively inefficient, therefore ensuring effective road safety measures are essential for socio-economic development.
Dar highlighted that Pakistan’s current road infrastructure comprises a total of 500,750 km (Expressway 428 km, Highways 32,097 km, Local Roads 373,525 km, Metro Roads 146 km, Motorways 2,816 km, and Primary & Secondary Road 92,153 km, respectively).
“The government of Pakistan is also cognizant of this fact and included 50 projects in the NHA portfolio in PSDP for CFY2023 with a total allocation of Rs 118.4 billion to provide a safe, modern, and efficient transportation system in the country. Till FY2022, total vehicles on roads were estimated at 34.2 million which is increasing rapidly as the middle class is growing in the country,” he added.
He recalled his party’s previous tenures where he claimed it focused on key infrastructure development projects.
Dar noted that the present coalition government is again working fast to enhance the length and quality of the roads in the country to facilitate the economic development of the country. He said the government is actively pursuing effective enforcement of road safety laws to ensure accident-free traffic flow.
“As Parliamentarians, it is our duty to find necessary solutions to improve road safety. We must act now and fast, at the local and global levels. To deliver, we first need to embrace change. We cannot continue doing the same things and expect different results. We must introduce road safety measures with a goal to reduce road fatalities and serious injuries by 50% by the year 2030, being the targets established by the United Nation Global Action Plan on Road Safety. This target can become a stepping-stone for all of us before reaching the ambitious goal of no deaths and serious injuries in the future. Let us pledge today to join this ambition”.
In his closing remarks, Dar stressed the importance of continuing the efforts to improve road safety. “We need to focus more on legislating comprehensive traffic laws and rules and strictly ensure their implementation. The loss of precious lives and the financial burden caused by road traffic accidents are a tragedy that affects families and communities across the nation. As parliamentarians, we have a responsibility to work together to make our roads safer for all citizens of our countries”.
With his constipated look Dar knows he has been a disaster. No one will help Pakistan as long as he is there. For Gods sake go Dar.