Islamabad February 14 2023: Staff Level Agreement (SLA) for conclusion of 9th review necessary to unlock USD 1.2 billion for Pakistan may got delayed as President rejected to sign bill of additional revenue measures.
Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Senator Muhammad Ishaq Dar, called on President Dr. Arif Alvi today and apprised him about the progress in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and that all modalities have been agreed upon.
The Minister informed that the Government wanted to raise additional revenue through taxes by promulgating an ordinance. The President advised that it would be more appropriate to take the Parliament into confidence on this important subject, and that a session be called immediately so that the bill is enacted without delay.
Earlier, Pakistan agreed with IMF to raise an additional funds of PKR 170 billion for bridging fiscal gap, according to finance minister.
Shortfalls in revenue collection, energy subsidies and policies inconsistent with a market-determined exchange rate have held up the 9th review of Pakistan's IMF programme, which was originally due in November 2022. Completion of the review hinges on additional front-loaded revenue measures and increases to regulated gas and fuel prices.
The IMF's conditions are likely to prove socially and politically difficult amid a sharp economic slowdown, high inflation, and the devastation wrought by widespread floods last year. Elections are due by October 2023, and former prime minister Imran Khan, whose party will challenge the incumbent government in the elections, earlier rejected an invitation by Prime Minister Shehbhaz Sharif to hold talks on national issues, including IMF negotiations.