IMF to be approached for help over balance of payments: Miftah

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ISLAMABAD: Criminating the PTI government of leaving behind an unknown profitable mess, including the loftiest- ever financial deficiency of Rs6.4 trillion ( slightly over 10 pc of GDP), finance counsel in- staying Miftah Ismail said on Tuesday the new government would renew accommodations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for balance of payments support.

“ Stabilisation of declining foreign exchange reserves and adding them is the most important thing,” he said. “ Taking the IMF programme forward with collective understanding is important.”

In reply to a question, he said that “ we will take the being programme forward and complete its three reviews”, which involve about$ 3 billion in outstanding disbursement, by September.

He was speaking at a precipitously called news conference with former caretaker energy minister Senator Musaddiq Malik and former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair.

Accuses PTI government of leaving behind unknown profitable mess

Mr Miftah said the baggage left by the PTI government was similar that all problems couldn’t be overcome incontinently, but at least the prices of particulars like wheat flour and sugar would be brought down incontinently with the support of parochial governments.

“ The Khan government has played annihilation with the frugality and prevaricated to the nation that the relief package floated to save the government in its dying days is to be financed through fresh earnings. In fact, it added to the financial deficiency as there was no backing available,” Mr Ismail claimed.

“ We’ll talk to the IMF incontinently and negotiate. We’ll make our stylish sweats and hopefully agree effects which are sustainable under the given circumstances,” he said.

“ It isn’t possible to reduce affectation incontinently because of the pause impact of the programs of financial and financial expansion. First we will negotiate with the IMF and try to convert them to ease the tough conditions so that the government could give relief to the nation.”

He explained that the current account deficiency (CAD) for the current financial time was estimated at$ 20bn — in far the loftiest ever. It meant Pakistan had to fund$ 6bn CAD on top of about$ 3bn debt disbursements during the remaining period of the financial time. The backing needs for coming time were estimated at$ 30bn.

“ You need to finance this gap for which durability of the IMF programme is necessary.”

He said the State Bank reserves presently stood at$11.3 bn and unless there was an IMF programme, neither can there be backing from friendly countries nor from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank nor the transnational bond request.

The former finance minister said he didn’t want to paint a doomsday script, but it was important to put on record what the PTI government had left before and the figures he was presented had been finalised by gregarious finance minister Shaukat Tarin and presented to the new coalition government by the finance ministry.

Financial deficiency

He said the former government had put the financial deficiency limit at Rs3.990 trillion, but it had now been estimated at Rs5.6 tr, which is by far the highest- ever breach.

But that’s not each, they also left behind another Rs800bn worth of supplementary subventions, taking the total financial deficiency at Rs6.4 tr. This also included Rs373bn worth of‘ largely explosive landmine package’of reducing petroleum and electricity prices and also indurating them for four months when transnational prices were going up, besides Rs220bn needed for gas companies to avoid ruin and Rs80bn by generation companies just to remain round.

He said the figures were finalised when Mr Tarin was finance minister that expenditures would be around Rs8.7 trillion this time against budget estimate of Rs7.5 tr. This, still, didn’t include Rs800bn of supplementary subventions that took total expenditures to Rs9.5 tr.

He said the total debt since high minister Liaquat Ali Khan to Nasir-ul-Mulk amounted to Rs25tr, while further than 80 per cent of that quantum was erected up by the former government in just four times.

Asked about the increase in petroleum prices, Miftah Ismail said while a decision would be taken after looking into the working paper of the canvas controller on April 15, it was important to be known why the former government repealed from its commitments. He wondered why the government suddenly blazoned another remittal scheme to please their musketeers for unborn inflows and means as well while all former absolutions had been offered to fade once means.

Miftah Ismail said that in his first meeting with economists, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif decided to hold two separate meetings with agronomists and businesses to reverse the food import trend, which bring$ 8bn in buying sugar and wheat alone. On the other hand, the country used to export both products when PML-N was in power.

He said he’d push for privatisation of Pakistan Steel Mills and Pakistan International Airlines while guarding their workers and offer power distribution companies to the businesses.

He said each- out sweats would be made to contain the poverties and criticised the PTI for reneging on commitments made to the IMF by offering an remittal scheme for industrialists.

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