Tuesday, May 30, 2023

Ishaq Dar ‘confident’ Pakistan to come out of economic crisis soon

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. — Radio Pakistan/File
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar. — Radio Pakistan/File  

  • “We will try our best to prepare a balanced budget,” vows Dar.
  • Pakistan needs joint efforts to come out of the present situation."
  • Fin-Min says efforts to be made to avoid burdening business sector.

Stressing the need for collective efforts, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday expressed the confidence that Pakistan would come out of the current economic crisis soon.

The finance czar made the remarks while talking to delegations of the chambers of commerce and industry of Lahore and Faisalabad, which called on him in Islamabad this evening.

The federal minister said the downward slide of the economy has stopped due to strenuous efforts of the coalition government under the leadership of Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif.

He said Pakistan needs everyone's efforts and contribution to steer the country out of the present situation. “We will try our best to prepare a balanced federal budget while keeping in view the economic constraints the country is facing.”

He assured the delegations that utmost efforts will be made to avoid further burdening the business community.

The finance minister said the coalition government took tough decisions to fulfil Pakistan's international commitments and ensure timely compliance with the sovereign commitments of the country.

PM Shehbaz has contacted International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, requesting her to help Pakistan revive the stalled $6.5 billion facility, Geo News reported citing sources.

The premier — according to the sources — contacted the IMF chief on May 27 requesting her to intervene in order to complete the pending ninth review — which would unlock $1.1 billion in financing for the cash-strapped nation.

Pakistan faces about $22 billion of external debt service for the fiscal year 2024, which begins in July, according to Columbia Threadneedle Investments, which is about five times its reserves. Consequently, the coalition government is stepping up efforts to secure funding as it teeters on the edge of a sovereign default.

The coalition government has been negotiating with the Washington-based lender to revive its bailout programme since November, with the financing gap among the biggest roadblocks. There’s about $2.7 billion left to disburse from the $6.5 billion programme that’s scheduled to expire next month.