Completing IMF programme is in the nation’s interest, says Aisha Ghaus Pasha

Aisha said that the IMF does not discourage targeted subsidy, the govt also plans to provide targeted relief

ISLAMABAD: On Wednesday, Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha stated that completing the IMF programme is in the nation’s interest, in response to the questions of the media after the meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance.

The Minister said that the Federal government is in total commitment to the IMF programme and that they “are not thinking of anything without the Fund programme”.

The Prime Minister has assured the MD IMF that Pakistan would implement all the conditions of the programme, adding that the MD was also conveyed that delay in the program is neither in the interest of Pakistan nor in the IMF, so there is need to make a decision at the earliest.

When her attention was drawn towards the recent statement, she said that chief Nathan Porter’s statement was an interference in the political affairs of Pakistan, alleging that, “Porter should not have interfered in the political matter.” She carried on to say that, as far as she knows, the IMF usually does not say such things.

The Minister added that nothing to this effect was officially communicated to Pakistan.

Pasha further stated that she was not aware as to what exactly was stated by Nathan Porter, however, if he has stated this it is something extraordinary.  She said that, “We are moving ahead as per rule of law and we want democracy to flourish and all the institutions to work as per Constitutional parameters.”

The Minister also claimed that budget preparation is going on and the government will present the budget in the National Assembly on 9th June, 2023 and the Prime Minister is also holding meetings in this regard.

Pasha disclosed that, “We are in the IMF programme and are constantly engaged with the Fund,” adding that, “The budget is being prepared in accordance with the IMF programme and numbers have also been shared with the Fund.”

She continued to add, “The government wants to bring economic stability, while being in the IMF programme and without putting more burden on the common man.” Moreover, Pasha asserted that, “We are very hopeful that an understanding with the Fund on staff level agreement would be reached before the budget.”

When asked whether the government was considering to take another programme from the Fund after the expiry of the existing one by the end of next month of June, the minister said that there is need to first complete the ongoing EFF programme and after that it would be decided whether to take another IMF programme, arguing that this is why “we have to move.”

Lastly, she said that the IMF does not discourage targeted subsidy and the government also wanted to provide targeted relief.


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