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Monday May 13 2019
Web Desk

Govt briefs members of PTI, allied parties on IMF deal

Web Desk

ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Monday briefed members of ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and its allied parties on its discussions and an agreement with International Monetary Fund.

Prime Minister Imran Khan had summoned the high-level meeting to discuss the country's $6 billion loan agreement with the IMF, which was finalised last night following months of negotiations between the two sides.

Khan presided over the meeting during which the participants were also briefed on economic situation of the country and efforts to stabilise the economy, it has been learnt. The participants were also briefed on government policies in this regard.

The government's deal with the IMF drew heavy criticism from the opposition, as political opponents voiced concerns over an almost certain possibility of higher inflation and slowed economic growth in the coming months as the country implements the loan conditions imposed by the global lender.

The latest agreement marks Pakistan's 22nd bailout with the IMF, as the country struggles to stave off a looming balance-of-payments crisis while its economy teeters due to low growth, soaring inflation, and mounting debt.

"The programme aims to support the authorities´ strategy for stronger and more balanced growth by reducing domestic and external imbalances, improving the business environment, strengthening institutions, increasing transparency, and protecting social spending," said Ramirez Rigo, head of the IMF delegation, in a statement released late Sunday.

According to Pakistan's finance adviser Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, the country is set to receive $6 billion from the IMF in addition to $2 to $3 billion from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank over the next three years.

"We have a $12 billion gap in our annual payments and we don´t have the capacity to pay them," Sheik said in a televised address as he announced the new agreement with the fund.