ISLAMABAD – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission chief Nathan Porter has said that “considerable progress” was made during the talks with Pakistani officials on “policy measures to address domestic and external imbalances”.
In a statement issued on Friday, the international lender official said that said that the timely and decisive implementation of policy measures along with resolute financial support from official partners are critical for Pakistan to successfully regain macroeconomic stability and advance its sustainable development.
The statement, issued after the mission concluded its 10-day Pakistan visit, welcomed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s commitment to implement policies that are required to “safeguard macroeconomic stability”.
He also thanked the authorities for the “constructive discussions”.
The IMF mission chief highlighted that the “key priorities include strengthening the fiscal position with permanent revenue measures and reduction in untargeted subsidies, while scaling up social protection to help the most vulnerable and those affected by the floods; allowing the exchange rate to be market determined to gradually eliminate the foreign exchange shortage; and enhancing energy provision by preventing further accumulation of circular debt and ensuring the viability of the energy sector”.
The IMF mission chief said that the “virtual discussions” will continue between the two sides in the coming days to finalise the “implementation details” of the policies.
Reports said the IMF delegation, which has been visiting the cash-strapped South Asian country since Jan 31, reached the Prime Minister’s House in Islamabad following the conclusion of negotiations on Thursday.
The team of the global lender held a meeting with PM Shehbaz Sharif through video link as the latter is in Lahore for political activities. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar was also present on the occasion.
The premier, during the meeting, approved the agreement reached between Pakistan and IMF in the technical and policy level talks, brightening the hopes that the country would secure the much-needed funds soon.
Pakistani rupee remains largely stable against USD and other currencies in the open market on March 2, 2024 (Saturday).
In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.
Euro currently stands at 302.5 for buying and 305.5 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 354 for buying, and 359 for selling.
UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76.3 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 74.5.
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