PM Directs for Approaching IMF For A Bigger Bailout

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, a few hours after being sworn in on Monday, directed for immediate initiation of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) regarding its Extended Fund Facility for a bigger and longer bailout for Pakistan.

He chaired an hours-long meeting regarding the rehabilitation of the country’s economy and issued important instructions to prepare an action plan on an emergency basis to streamline the overall economic situation of the country. “We have got the mandate to improve the economy and this is the top priority of our government,” the prime minister said.

The Finance Secretary gave a detailed briefing to the prime minister on the country’s overall economic situation.

Although mainstay Ishaq Dar remains in the race for Finance Minister, he didn’t attend the meeting while respected banker Mohammad Aurangzeb, a strong contender, was among the participants.

Aurangzeb could also be nominated as special assistant to the PM. He does not currently hold Pakistani citizenship which is a big hurdle to him becoming a federal minister.

A big hurdle for the new finance minister would be to get a bigger and better deal with the IMF under the three-year EFF. At the moment, the ongoing $3 billion SBA project is set to end on April 12, 2024; therefore, it remains to be seen whether the coalition government wishes to complete the ongoing SBA program by securing its final tranche of $1.1 billion or begin negotiations for a new three-year EFF contract.

The meeting was told that soon after the prime minister’s instructions, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) had cleared tax refunds of Rs. 65 billion.

He underlined that the taxpayers, who were working to enhance exports and value addition in the country’s economy, were the most important people for the government. Such taxpayers would be encouraged at the government level.

Shehbaz Sharif also directed to start work on the automation of FBR and other institutions immediately, saying that automation was inevitable to bring transparency to the Federal Board of Revenue.

He said the loss-making state-owned institutions would be privatized so that they might not become a burden on the economy.

The prime minister also issued directives for forming a committee to devise a clear strategy for reducing the privileges of members of boards of state-owned institutions.

He directed to preparation of a plan for the transition of power and gas sectors to smart metering in order to reduce line losses.

PM Shehbaz asked all the banks and financial institutions to prepare strategies for the promotion of small and medium businesses so that the youth could be helped stand on their own feet.

He also directed to work out a strategy to reduce the size of the government by merging or closing down such institutions that were no longer needed.

He said that the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) was a very important step in terms of economic stability in the country, which would be further strengthened.

The Prime Minister emphasized the government’s drive to minimize bureaucratic barriers and foster an enabling environment for small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs).

The prime minister said that the next meeting would be held regarding the Federal Board of Revenue. He maintained that measures would be taken on an emergency basis to provide facilities to the business community, investors, and youth.

Senator Musadik Malik, Members of National Assembly Ata Tarar, Shaza Fatima and Rumina Khurshid, Ahad Cheema, Jahanzeb Khan, and other important officers participated in the meeting.

  • Whatever the requirement of IMF current and near future , can be taken into account but Government should not forget to do the tax reforms particularly to increase the tax base as majority are still
    Out of it in addition to it to start sales tax at POL ( zero at this point of time on Diesel and MS ) there is immense need to regulate Irani smuggles Diesel and petrol at least while putting PDL on it and also due to non sales tax and loose control on Borders resulted in increase smuggled product magnitude like white spirit, Solvents , other hydrocarbon bae products etc & these product original requirement or usage is not more than 20% but at bulk now these are being mixed with Diesel and Ron92-97 across Pakistan so serious actions and reforms required in energy sector for product management from supply source to sales , but authorities like OGRA and department like Custom can’t do it alone each and ever stakeholder including Baloch tribes and Pakistan armed forces must support it as this is major bleeding in Country revenue and now it is spread like cancer if you do not treat cancer , result you all know better ! Too much written at all forums on smuggling this is the time to do concrete actions 🙏🏿🙏🏿✅

  • Get Alerts

    Follow ProPakistani to get latest news and updates.

    ProPakistani Community

    Join the groups below to get latest news and updates.