Pakistan committed to completing IMF programme, vows Dar



Finance Minister Ishaq Dar vowed on Thursday that he and his team were “absolutely committed” to completing the current $7bn Extended Fund Facility programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), once again stressing that Pakistan was close to signing the staff-level agreement.

The government is in a race against time to implement measures to reach an agreement with the IMF as the country has reserves barely enough for three weeks of essential imports, while hotly contested elections are due by November.

Addressing a seminar organised by the Finance Ministry in Islamabad on Thursday, Dar said: “I and my team have decided that, in a short period of time, we will implement and we will discharge all the sovereign commitments that the previous government had made.” He recalled that the coalition government was handed over an economy which was “in a shambles”.

“To top it [off], the previous government had agreed to a loan facility which was extended by the IMF. But instead of honouring the commitments, they reversed some conditionalities before leaving office. This led to a serious trust deficit [between the lender and Pakistan],” he highlighted.

However, the minister went on to say, the government had realised that these obligations were not made by an individual but by the sovereign state of Pakistan and decided to honour the commitments.

“We have been in the process of the 9th review which has taken longer than it should have […] we seem to be very close to signing the staff-level agreement, hopefully in the next two days,” Dar added.