Policy commitments made by Pakistan to continue to apply: IMF representative

Policy commitments made by Pakistani authorities to resume the support programme continue to apply, says an IMF official


ISLAMABAD: The resident representative of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Monday that policy commitments made by Pakistani authorities to resume the support programme continue to apply.

"Policy commitments made by the Pakistani authorities as part of the Seventh and Eighth review under their IMF-support program continue to apply," IMF representative in Islamabad Esther Pérez Ruiz told Reuters.

She said policy discussions, including how to target support to those affected by the floods while maintaining macroeconomic stability, will commence in the coming weeks after the damage assessment report becomes available.

On September 30, Ishaq Dar slashed the price of petrol by Rs12.63 per litre, giving massive relief to the inflation-stricken people of the country.

Addressing his maiden press conference as the finance minister, Dar said that the decision to reduce the prices of petroleum products has been taken after consultation with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

Following the changes in the prices, petrol is now available for Rs224.80 per litre.

Meanwhile, there is also a decrease of Rs12.13 in the price of high-speed diesel, after which the new price stands at Rs235.30 per litre. The price of light diesel oil is Rs191.83 after a decrease of Rs10.19 per litre.

Pakistani rupee to grow stronger: Dar

On October 3, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar assured the masses that he would bring the dollar below Rs200 with the help of his policies.

“The actual value of the Pakistani rupee is less than 200 against the greenback and it will be brought down as it is currently undervalued,” he said during Geo News' programme "Capital Talk" on Monday.

He reiterated the resolve to bring the dollar down below 200 Pakistani rupee, given the greenback value is strong internationally.

Since Dar was sworn in on September 28, the seasoned politician and chartered accountant faces the daunting task of stabilising an economy that has for months been in a tailspin, facing multiple threats of high inflation, a widening current account deficit and falling reserves.

He has strongly favoured intervention in currency markets in three previous stints in the job and is also expected to strengthen the currency which closed at Rs227.29 against the US dollar on Monday.

“The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) is an independent institution and it does not involve in manipulative activities,” he said while replying to a question regarding the PTI leader Hammad Azhar accusing Dar of manipulating the economic data.

I'll deal with IMF: Dar to Miftah

Speaking about former finance minister Miftah Ismail, Dar said: “I have to handle the International Monetary Fund (IMF) matters, so from now on, neither Miftah nor anybody else has to worry about anything."

A day earlier, Miftah termed the government’s decision to not increase the petroleum development levy (PDL) this month without IMF’s approval, "reckless”.

“Miftah is my colleague but he has his own point of view and I have mine,” he said, advising him not to worry about the IMF as it is now his responsibility to deal with the body. “I know how to do it as I have solutions and have been dealing with them for the last 25 years.”

The finance minister said: “Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif himself told me that during the United National General Assembly (UNGA) session, where Miftah was also present, he proposed IMF officials freeze taxes to which they did not refuse.”

“I believe that the flood-and-inflation-weary people shouldn’t be burdened further,” he said while taking a jibe at his fellow PML-N member for "burdening the masses" with his policies.