Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday claimed that Pakistan has now met all “Tough conditions” of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for revival of a stalled $6.5 billion bailout program and now the lender has “no excuse” to delay the staff-level agreement.
While addressing a ceremony after reviewing the construction work on the six-lane overhead bridge of Imamia Colony railways crossing Shahdra N-5 Lahore, Prime Minister said that the coalition government was making all-out efforts to convince the IMF officials to release a tranche of $1.1 billion.
Acknowledging the woes of the people because of historic high inflation, the premier accepted that Pakistan had “no choice” but to accept all strict conditions laid forth by the IMF to secure a much-awaited bailout tranche from the International lender.
Pakistan signed a $6.5 billion bailout package with the IMF in 2019, but has repeatedly reneged on conditions and so far just $3 billion has been released.
Earlier Finance Minister Ishaq Dar claims that, UAE and Saudi Government agreed for a bilateral aid of one billion dollars to the IMF for Pakistan.
He said that the State Bank of Pakistan is now preparing the necessary documents for the said deposit from the Emirati authorities.
These commitments by friendly countries were one of the IMF’s last requirements before approving a staff-level pact to release a tranche of $1.1 billion, delayed for months, that is crucial for Pakistan to resolve an acute balance of payments crisis.
“Such tough conditions were set which weren’t easy for Pakistan to fulfil,” the premier said, adding that in the last one-and-a-half-month, the coalition government has made a lot of efforts.
While lauding the Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, Premier said that the federal ministers were putting in efforts to complete the last condition regarding securing financial guarantees from “key” friendly countries.
The premier added that Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir also contributed to these efforts after which Saudi Arabia and UAE agreed for the funds.
He thanked to Saudi Arabia and the UAE for showing what brotherhood actually is.
He said that China already predicted two-and-a-half-months ago that Pakistan was facing difficulties and thrones were being laid to deepen the economic crisis therefore it Chinese government immediately gave approval for the $2 billion roll over in order to stabilize Pakistan economy.
The prime minister hoped that now Pakistan will soon reach a staff-level agreement with the Washington-based lender; however, prayed that the country of 220 million gets rid of these shackles of IMF.