March 09, 2023 (MLN): The staff-level agreement (SLA) with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is unlikely to be finalized this week, Federal Minister for Finance, Senator Ishaq Dar, clarified on Thursday while speaking to journalists after a seminar titled “Reviving Economic Stability through the Strengthening of Public Financial Management” in Islamabad.
Dar acknowledged that he had previously stated that the agreement would be struck within a few days, but clarified that this did not necessarily mean it would be signed this week.
The finance minister also noted that the IMF was “satisfied” with the actions taken by Pakistan thus far, but declined to provide a specific timeline for the SLA’s completion.
This news came as a disappointment to many who were hoping for a swift resolution to Pakistan’s ongoing economic challenges.
Despite the setback, the finance minister remained optimistic and reiterated his commitment to completing the program to the “best” of his team’s ability. He urged Pakistanis to remain patient and assured them that the government was working tirelessly to address the country’s economic issues.
As the situation continues to unfold, many are eagerly awaiting further updates and hoping for a positive outcome. With Pakistan’s economic stability hanging in the balance, the stakes are high, and the pressure is on for the government to deliver on its promises.
He also admitted that it has taken longer than expected to complete the ninth review of the IMF Extended Fund Facility (EFF), but he reassured the public that Islamabad is “very close” to signing the staff-level agreement (SLA).
While speaking at seminar, Dar also highlighted Pakistan’s economic challenges, noting that the country’s economy had fallen to rank 47 in 2022 after it was predicted to join G20 by 2030.
He also noted that the Pakistan Stock Exchange’s market capitalization had dropped from over $100 billion to $26 billion in the past few years, and the country’s debt sustainability has become a serious issue, with its debt climbing from under $30 trillion in 2018 to $55 trillion in 2022.
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Posted on: 2023-03-09T12:28:11+05:00