Islamabad: Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday emphasised that the country has met all “tough” conditions laid forth by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and now the lender has “no excuse” to delay the staff-level agreement.
The premier however, lamented that the coalition government was making all-out efforts to convince the IMF officials to release a tranche of $1.1 billion, Geo News reported.
Acknowledging the woes of the people because of historic high inflation, the premier accepted that Pakistan had “no choice” but to accept all strict conditions laid forth by the IMF to secure a much-awaited bailout tranche from the Washington-based lender.
Pakistan signed a $6.5 billion bailout package with the IMF in 2019, but has repeatedly reneged on conditions and so far just $3 billion has been released.
On Friday, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) confirmed financial support of $1 billion to Pakistan making it the third country, after Saudi Arabia and long-time ally China, to come to Pakistan’s assistance, as external financing is needed to fully fund the balance of payments gap for the fiscal year that ends in June.
The commitments were one of the IMF’s last requirements before approving a staff-level pact to release a tranche of $1.1 billion, delayed for months, that is crucial for Pakistan to resolve an acute balance of payments crisis.
“Such tough conditions were set which weren’t easy for Pakistan to fulfil,” the premier said, adding that in the last one-and-a-half-month, the coalition government has made a lot of efforts, Geo News reported.
The Prime Minister added that Chief of Army Staff General Asim Munir also contributed to these efforts after which Saudi Arabia and the UAE committed funds.