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PM Shehbaz requests Finance Ministry to ensure, the next budget should strictly adhere to IMF regulations

The next budget, which is scheduled to be presented on June 9 and must fully conform with the standards set by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), was highlighted at a meeting between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Tuesday.

PM Shehbaz Sharif has expressed hope about reaching a deal with the IMF, defying media speculations that predicted a populist budget, which is often delivered during election years.

An knowledgeable source who attended the conference made it clear that Pakistan cannot afford to depart from the budgetary rules recommended by the IMF. The PM’s recent phone call with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva strengthened his commitment to follow these rules. PM Shehbaz Sharif personally urged Georgieva to reactivate the $6.5 billion rescue programme during this call.

Due to the finance ministry’s inability to resolve the impasse in loan negotiations during the previous four months, a conversation between the prime minister and the managing director of the IMF took place. After speaking with Georgieva, PM Shehbaz Sharif reportedly expressed pleasure, which resulted in a decision to discuss the budget’s specifics with the IMF, according to the source.

Additionally, the IMF Managing Director hinted that the scheme may be revived. During his visit to Ankara, PM Shehbaz Sharif told the Turkish media that Pakistan is still hopeful of concluding a deal with the IMF this month as a result of this encouraging development. He gave the assurance that Pakistan had complied with all requirements and that the future budget will follow the guidelines laid forth by the IMF.

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The PM went on to say that although some steps are generally fulfilled following the board’s approval, in this case, the IMF insisted on fulfilling such obligations ahead of time. He declared that Pakistan had complied with the IMF’s standards.

All eyes are now focused on the Ministry of Finance, which has been charged with ensuring strict compliance with IMF requirements, as the budget presentation draws near. There is a rising sense of confidence that Pakistan will be able to acquire the crucial financial backing to handle its economic issues in light of the PM’s newfound optimism and the encouraging messages from the IMF.

It is still to be seen how the 2019 budget will represent the administration’s dedication to IMF compliance and whether it will result in a satisfactory resolution of talks with the world bank.



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