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Pakistan in no hurry for IMF package: Asad Umar



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Finance Minister Asad Umar said on Wednesday that Pakistan wasn’t in a hurry for a package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“We still want to have the program,” Umar told Bloomberg. “But we’re not in hurry to have it. It’ll ease and open up funding avenues.”

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government has decided to approach the IMF to bridge the $12 billion financial gap caused by a balance of payments crisis. Pakistan has already received $1 billion from a total of $3 billion pledged by Saudi Arabia to overcome the crisis.

Pakistan and the fund have been unable to reach a staff-level agreement over the pace of adjustments and conditions during discussions held in November. According to reports, Pakistan has refused to demands of sharing full details of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), tightening monetary and fiscal policies.

The finance minister added that Pakistan’s request would be taken by the IMF in time for January meeting of its executive board.

Earlier it emerged that Pakistan had refused to accept demands of an increase in tax rate and electricity prices by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in the first round of talks for a financial bailout that ended today, Finance Minister Asad Umar said.

Speaking to media after the meeting, Umar said that disagreements with the IMF continue on certain issues, which include an increase in electricity prices by 20-22%.

The Pakistani-led delegation led by Umar also disagreed on increasing tax collection target from Rs4,300 billion to over Rs4,700 billion.

Moreover, the IMF had said that Pakistan needs to devalue rupee against dollar, which Pakistan refused.

Responding to a question regarding sharing details of financial assistance deal done with China, Umar said that Pakistan has nothing to hide from the IMF and that all finances regarding the economic cooperation are transparent.

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