President Alvi approves mini-budget

Pakistan briefs IMF on external financing after Chinese bank okays $700 million facility

Nausheen Yusuf
— Radio Pakistan
— Radio Pakistan

  • Approval given in accordance with Article 75 of Constitution.
  • Bill envisages taxes, duties of Rs170bn to meet IMF conditions.
  • President has no power to reject, object finance bill as per constitution.

ISLAMABAD: President Arif Alvi has given assent to the Finance Supplementary Bill 2023 which was sent to him on Wednesday — two days after the National Assembly passed it on February 20.

The approval has been given in accordance with Article 75 of the Constitution, the President House said in a statement today.

The bill envisages additional taxes and duties of Rs170 billion to meet the conditions of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the revival of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) stalled for months.

The government is making all-out efforts to convince the Washington-based lender of its commitment to fulfilling the requirements set for the loan programme.

On Wednesday, the Prime Minister Secretariat sent the Finance (Supplementary) Bill 2023 to the President Secretariat for assent.

Under Article 75 (1), the president has no power to reject or object to the finance bill, which is considered to be a money bill as per the constitution.

Alvi had earlier assured the government of his cooperation in this regard. 

Pakistan-IMF talks

The two sides are holding virtual talks on the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) in order to strike the staff-level agreement. 

During Wednesday's meeting, IMF insisted on tightening the monetary policy, while the Pakistani side informed the lender about the steps taken so far, sources told Geo News.

"The Pakistani officials also briefed them on the external financing from the friendly countries including $700 million from a Chinese bank and $1.2 billion from UAE."

The sources said that Pakistan also presented a strategy to meet the foreign exchange reserves target by June.