IMF puts damper on loan deal, sets new condition for Pakistan | Page 3 | Sunday Observer

IMF puts damper on loan deal, sets new condition for Pakistan

19 March, 2023

The revival of the IMF loan program for Pakistan has taken a new turn, as the international lender has put forward a new condition before signing a staff-level agreement.

After allegedly fulfilling all prior conditions to unlock the next tranche of a billion dollars, Pakistan is faced with another obstacle.

SAMAA TV sources claimed that the IMF has sought a written assurance of financing from friendly countries, including the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by June 30.

Finance Ministry officials said the written assurance must be provided by the executive directors of the respective friendly countries at the International Monetary Fund.

The Finance Ministry along with the Prime Minister Office has become active in obtaining written assurance from friendly countries.

The authorities expect to obtain the written assurance soon, the sources said.

Pakistan has completed the implementation of all preconditions set by the IMF, including implosion of Finance Bill 2023 or mini-budget and increasing electricity and gas tariffs.

The Finance Ministry said Pakistan had also agreed with the IMF’s last condition not to take direct loans from commercial banks.

Pakistan and IMF officials have completed negotiations on the revised Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies.

Sources say Pakistan hopes to seek a staff-level agreement approval from the IMF executive board.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan has fulfilled the toughest of IMF conditions, which resulted in burdening the masses. He also forewarned that there will be more burden on “hardworking Pakistanis” in the days to come in the wake of these conditions.

“I absolutely acknowledge this,” the prime minister had said in an interview to a private TV channel, about the tough days ahead, adding Pakistan will sign the staff-level agreement within a few days. (