ISLAMABAD (News Agencies): Islamabad and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have been engaged in protracted talks for the release of a fresh tranche of $1.1 billion since February.
Pakistan’s wait to secure funds worth $1.1 billion from the IMF got a bit longer as the global lender on Friday said that an agreement with Islamabad would take some more time.
The IMF added that the deal with Pakistan would only be signed once the cash-strapped nation cleared its questions about the fuel subsidy scheme announced by the country recently.
Talks between the multilateral financial behemoth and the Pakistani government over disbursing $1.1 billion in fresh funds under an overall $6.5 billion loan program, which started in 2019, have remained stalled for several months.
Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on March 9 said that Islamabad was “very close” to signing an agreement with the IMF. Since then two weeks have already passed and there’s still no clarity on when the deal would be signed.
The latest flashpoint in their negotiations is a fuel subsidy plan announced by Pakistan premier Shehbaz Sharif recently.
Last Sunday, Sharif said that the government would provide subsidized fuel to the nation’s poor while the rich would be charged more.
Under this, low-income consumers would get a subsidy of PKR 50 ($0.18) per litre on petrol and diesel while the affluent would be charged PKR 100 ($0.35) more for a litre of petrol.

By Media

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