Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Hits Back at IMF for Meddling in Pakistan’s Internal Affairs

Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha has slammed the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for interfering in Pakistan’s internal affairs, arguing that the lender’s mission does not include getting involved with the country’s domestic matters.


“The IMF Mission Chief’s statement is extraordinary. Pakistan is acting according to the law,” said the minister while talking to media persons here on Wednesday. She added, “If an agreement with the IMF is not achieved, the Ministry of Finance will not close its eyes; there is always a Plan B; our priority is the IMF program”.

Replying to a question about the signing of the Staff Level Agreement (SLA) with the lender, Pasha hoped that the SLA is signed before the new budget. She stressed that additional delays in the bailout program were not in either Pakistan’s or the IMF’s best interests.

With the current IMF facility scheduled to end on June 30, the minister remarked that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has already assured the lender that the government will fulfill all conditions to complete the program

The state minister said that the new fiscal year’s budget will be an election-year budget. It is being planned for June 9 and relief will be provided to the people, with efforts made not to place further burdens on the ordinary man. Contrary to popular opinion, the IMF permits targeted subsidies to Pakistan, she noted.

Pasha’s remarks come after IMF Mission Chief to Pakistan Nathan Porter shared a brief statement to the press on Monday, where he expressed hope that “a peaceful way forward is found in line with the Constitution and the rule of law”.

He also said, “More broadly, overcoming the present economic and financial challenges would require sustained policy efforts and reforms for Pakistan to regain strong and inclusive private-led growth”.

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