Visibly ‘fuming’ Dar struggles to answer questions on ‘IMF deal failure’

  • Promises relief-oriented and business-friendly budget to avoid further burden on the poor
  • Says US dollar will be Rs240 to 250 in coming days which would be its real value


ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Monday got angry on questions hurled by journalists that was it his failure for not having an (Staff Level Agreement) agreement with the International Monitory Fund (IMF).

Ishaq Dar addressed Pakistan’s First International Conference on Islamic Capital Markets here during which he assured the nation that government has been trying to fix the economy. The conference was jointly organized by the SECP and AAOIFI.

Hopes for a resumption of an IMF deal are diminishing, analysts say, with a bailout programme agreed in 2019 due to expire on June 30 at the end of the 2022-23 fiscal year.

During the question-answer session, a visibly angry Dar refused to answer questions on the new budget and the IMF (deal). Later, Dar quickly rebutted the notion asking, “Has Pakistan defaulted?”. He explained the government has ensured all our international payments.

A journalist asked it is the first time he encountered difficult economic conditions and the economy is not being fixed.

The finance minister hastened to shun the journalist, saying, “I will see it later.”

Dar said he would like the IMF to clear its 9th review before the budget, which is due to be presented in early June, as all the conditions for that had already been met.

The central bank’s foreign reserves have fallen as low as to cover barely a month of controlled imports. Pakistan’s economy has slowed, with an estimated 0.29% GDP growth for 2022-2023.

“They have asked for some more things again, we are ready to give that too, they say that give us budget details, we will give it to them,” Dar said in an interview with a private Tv news channel.

Looming default 

Only a day back on Sunday, Dar said Pakistan will share its upcoming budget details with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in order to unlock stalled funds.

“Pakistan will never default with or without the IMF,” Ishaq Dar reiterated the government’s resolve, claiming foreign powers are surprised that Pakistan does not default so far.

While talking to a private news channel, Dar claimed that former prime minister Imran Khan had destroyed the national economy after coming into power. He added that Imran Khan’s government got a $100 billion market from the previous PML-N government but it was destroyed and Pakistan had nearly defaulted.

Dar said that IMF asked Pakistan to arrange $6 billion and a technical deal was signed to arrange $3 billion before and after the loan programme. He added that IMF MD had also confirmed that Pakistan will not default.

“We will try to avoid putting financial burden on common people in the next budget. We will bring discipline to the economy and resolve the economic issues. Pakistan has reserves worth $1,000 billion, hence, it should not be compared with Sri Lanka.”

“We have to control our internal expenditures. The IMF programme will conclude on June 30,” said Dar.

‘Relief for marginalize class’

The Federal Minister for Finance said the budget preparation was in the final stage to present a relief-oriented and business-friendly budget in order to avoid further burdening the poor.

He said some internal and external elements blatantly attempted to destabilize the country’s economy.

In past, the government has allowed the pre-flow of the currency in the market and brought its value down artificially, Dar said.

The devaluation of the currency has heightened inflation and the government is aware of the people’s suffering and assured that every promise made with the public would be met, he added.

The government has working on the formation of a comprehensive strategy to bring the dollar price down to its actual level which was less than 250 rupees.

He said the value of the US dollar will be 240 to 250 rupees in the coming days which would be its real value.

He said internationally the dollar was getting stronger, however, in Pakistan, he would bring it down to its actual level.

Senator Ishaq Dar said that human rights are not being violated in the prosecution of perpetrators of May 9 and those responsible for targeting military facilities would be duly apprehended.

He said that people would not have attacked sensitive installations if they considered the state as a mother.

He said that peaceful protest is everyone’s right, but attacks on defence installations should not be condoned.

The minister added that talks with Imran Khan can be held now only if he apologizes to the nation, admits his mistake and promises not to do anything like May 9 in the future.

He said that the government negotiated with PTI with sincere intentions and agreed to PTI on all matters except the date of the election, but then they made it the May 9 incident.


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