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Ishaq Dar to attend IMF-World Bank meetings in Washington next week

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Ishaq Dar will travel to Washington next week and hold meetings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), seeking to revise the macroeconomic framework.

According to media reports, “Dar will participate in the upcoming annual meeting of the IMF/WB.”

The IMF had also said that policy commitments made by the Pakistani authorities as part of the seventh and eighth reviews under their support program continue to apply.

Islamabad is all set to make a request to the IMF for making the conditions attached to the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) lenient, especially freezing fuel price adjustment of electricity and petroleum development levy on POL products for the next few months to provide some relief to the inflation-stricken masses.

Pakistan will also request to relax the budget deficit target for the current fiscal year as severe floods might damage its revenue mobilisation efforts and increase pressures on the expenditure front.

The government has restricted the budget deficit target at 4.9% for the current fiscal year under the IMF programme and throwing a revenue surplus of Rs153 billion till the end of June 2023.

Under the macroeconomic framework, the government has assessed that the country’s GDP growth might hover around 2% for the current fiscal year against the initially envisaged target of 5%.

The economic loss has been estimated at Rs2.4 trillion for the current fiscal year. The government’s projections also show that unemployment projection will increase due to the loss of 1.8 to 2 million jobs and poverty may hike by 4.5 to 5%, implying that 9 to 12 million people will fall below the poverty line.

The agriculture growth is feared to remain negative in the range of -0.7% to -2.1% against the target of plus 3.9% for the current fiscal year. The government has estimated that the growth in major crops was expected to remain negative in the range of 14 to 15.4% for the current fiscal year. Around one million large and small animals have perished. The livestock growth is expected to remain between 2 to 3% against the desired target of 3.7 % for the current fiscal year.

The inflation will hike, to go up in the range of 23 to 25% for the current fiscal year against the initially envisaged target of 11.5%.

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