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HomeNewsPakistan PM urges economic overhaul amidst IMF negotiations

Pakistan PM urges economic overhaul amidst IMF negotiations

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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif of Pakistan delivered a national address on Friday, stressing the urgent requirement for economic restructuring within the nation. Despite formidable challenges, such as a substantial debt burden and a balance of payments crisis, Sharif highlighted positive strides, including recent boosts in exports and remittances.

The imminent IMF board assembly, slated for Monday, carries significant weight as it will determine the allocation of £2.8 billion under a standby arrangement secured by Islamabad last year. Pakistan seeks to address its fiscal predicaments through a prospective 24th IMF bailout, with Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb expressing optimism for a preliminary agreement on a new program by early July.

The proposed IMF-led structural reforms encompass augmenting the tax-to-GDP ratio and rectifying losses in state-owned enterprises and the energy sector, amounting to trillions of rupees. Sharif likened these essential reforms to a surgical procedure rather than mere palliatives.

Despite economic headwinds, Pakistan’s Treasury foresees a 2.6% growth in the current fiscal year, with inflation anticipated to abate to 24%. The newly appointed finance minister, Muhammad, has underscored an unwavering dedication to reform execution.

Nevertheless, obstacles persist, notably in fulfilling IMF requirements to attain macroeconomic stability. Securing additional financial aid from the IMF is imperative for Pakistan’s access to global financial markets and the sustainability of economic reforms.

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Debt restructuring is also under scrutiny to mitigate the peril of sovereign default, with a planned Debt Sustainability Analysis (DSA) to ensure Pakistan’s economic viability amidst borrowing endeavors.

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