ISLAMABAD: Pakistan’s economic managers attempted to reassure investors on Wednesday that macroeconomic fundamentals were stabilising and that $8.5–10 billion inflows had been lined up from friendly countries to cover a financing gap of $4 billion, as estimated by the International Monetary Fund, while blaming political factors for the most recent decline in the currency and stock markets (IMF).
Economic administrators of the current and prior PTI governments simultaneously seemed to imply that a staff-level arrangement with the IMF will be maintained under an interim setup.
While senior State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) officials and Finance Minister Miftah Ismail stated that the IMF had no issues working with an interim setup, former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin also suggested dealing with a “credible interim government” in order to continue the IMF programme.
At a press conference, Mr. Ismail stated that the latest figures for the first 18 days of the current month showed that the economic fundamentals on the trade front had been rectified to a “perfect scenario,” in which exports and remittances were now supporting imports.
According to him, the country had a trade deficit of $48 billion and a current account deficit of $17 billion in the most recent fiscal year that ended on June 30. However, the measures implemented by the current administration had begun to bear fruit, as imports had levelled off to $2.6 billion in the first 18 days of July from $7.2 billion in June.
This implies that the government would be able to save on imports by around $2 billion this month.The minister claimed that the IMF program’s staff-level agreement had been reached and that there was no risk of disruption or derailment because the government was committed to carrying out all prior actions and measures in full compliance with their terms before the Fund’s executive board gave its approval.