IMF ‘not consulted’ on petrol subsidy


International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Resident Representative for Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz said the global lender was not consulted by Islamabad before it planned to increase fuel costs for wealthier drivers in order to pay for a subsidy for the country’s lower-income population, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday.

“Fund staff are seeking greater details on the scheme in terms of its operation, cost, targeting, protections against fraud and abuse, and offsetting measures, and will carefully discuss these elements with the authorities,” Ruiz said.

The IMF also said that Pakistan has progressed substantially towards meeting its policy commitments, required by the cash-strapped nation to gain access to the loans worth billions in its bid to evade a default.

Islamabad has taken difficult decisions to restart a $6.5 billion IMF loan deal. The tough measures include increase in energy prices and taxes, and allowing rupee to weaken.— Bloomberg