Ishaq Dar meets US envoy ahead of virtual IMF talks

Ishaq Dar meets US envoy ahead of virtual IMF talks
United States Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome met with Federal Finance and Revenue Minister Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at Finance Division, Islamabad on February 23, 2023. — Finance Division finance

Ahead of an important meeting between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistani officials, US Ambassador Donald Blome expressed confidence in the Pakistani government’s policies and programs on economic sustainability.

The US envoy called on the Federal Minister of Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar discuss the measures taken by the coalition government to address the economic challenges currently facing the country.

The Finance Czar – according to the statement issued by the Finance Division – shared the government’s economic policies and priorities to deal with the difficult economic environment and set the economy on course.

It was also shared that the current government is very concerned about the welfare of the masses, therefore a number of measures are being taken in this regard.

The two sides exchanged views on issues of common concern and strengthened the existing bilateral relations between the two countries.

Dar briefed the US Ambassador on the government’s pragmatic plans for revenues and expenditures to meet its domestic and international financial obligations.

He shared various economic avenues in which the two countries can further deepen their economic relations.

The US envoy stressed that the two countries enjoy good relations and expressed his confidence in the government’s policies and programs for the socio-economic upliftment of the masses.

He extended his support to further promote bilateral economic, investment and trade relations between the two countries.

Earlier today, the sources said Geo News that Pakistan’s economic team will hold virtual talks with IMF officials where State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad will brief the global financier on the financing plan to boost foreign exchange reserves.

The sources said that IMF officials will be briefed on the refinancing from Chinaand expected financial support from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

It was further learned that negotiations with the Washington-based lender are expected to be finalized within a day or two.

Pakistan is desperate to release the next tranche of a $1.1 billion loan facility with the IMF, but is struggling to meet tough conditions set by the global financier.

The IMF is demanding that Pakistan increase its pitifully low tax base, end exemptions for the export sector and raise artificially low energy prices that are supposed to help poor families.

Pakistan urgently needs funds as it battles a heartbreaking economic crisis, with foreign exchange reserves held by the SBP barely covering a month’s worth of imports.

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