IMF has indicated willingness to ease Pakistan loan conditions, Miftah Ismail says
New York: A big relief for the struggling Pakistani economy International Monetary Fund The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has signaled its willingness to ease the strict conditions under which the country signed the loan program.
This was shared by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail who is in New York along with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif to attend the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA).
The Pakistani delegation met IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank Group President David Malpass on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly and apprised them of the problems faced by the country due to its losses. Unprecedented floods.
Miftah said that the MD of IMF was requested to relax the conditions to which he agreed.
He said that the World Bank has also been contacted, Pakistan will receive an additional $2 million from the lender this year.
He said that the Imran Khan-led government made an agreement with the IMF and the PDM coalition government had to stick to it. However, the PML-N government got some leniency from the IMF.
Miftah said that the economic situation of Pakistan has changed after the floods that damaged the cotton crops in Sindh. He said that Pakistan will have to import cotton this year.
“Pakistan will also have to import wheat and this will widen the current account deficit,” the finance minister said.
He also said that the present government is giving Rs 25,000 to 4 million flood affected families under the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP).
The finance minister dismissed rumors of corruption in the flood victims’ fund and said that any such report is false and baseless.
Earlier, acknowledging the difficulties faced by Pakistan, IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva said that she had a very constructive meeting with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and expressed deep sympathy over the flood disaster.
“The IMF will continue to support Pakistan under existing programs to help ease the suffering of the Pakistani people.”