Talks with IMF on track; nation to hear ‘good news’ soon: Ishaq Dar


ISLAMABAD – Cash-strapped Pakistan and IMF continue talks for over a week, as the central government assured lender of desperate moves to secure the crucial bailout package, in times when the country of over 220 million is at the verge of debt default.

Amid the ongoing talks, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said talks between the government and the International Monetary Fund are on “track and we will announce good news soon.”

In his latest interaction with media in Islamabad, the PML-N leader said talks entered the final round, calling for satisfactory progress as he pinned hopes for discussions to conclude today.

Lately, Minister of State for Finance Aisha Ghaus Pasha mentioned that an understanding was reached with the US-based financial organization and clearance had also been secured at the prime minister level.

She however mentioned that IMF wanted more clearance from the dollar-ravaged country on some issues. Following Dar’s rhetoric, Pasha also confirmed that ongoing discussions were moving in a positive direction, saying the government is doing all-out efforts to save the already distressed masses.

The mission of the leading financial organsiation is in Pakistan from late January to conclude the ninth review of the economy. The power sector and primary balance remained the bone of contention between the two sides as IMF keeps eye on major subsidies.

During the week-long talks, the country’s finance czar also interacted with IMF Pakistan Mission Chief Nathan Porter, and briefed the visiting dignitaries on the fiscal and economic reforms, and stringent measures.’

The government agreed to take extreme steps, including a market-determined exchange rate for the local currency as the stalled package is crucial. State Bank of Pakistan also jacked up the interest rates in February by 100 basis points to fight skyrocketing inflation.

Rupee gains Rs2.82 against dollar in interbank market