Miftah Ismail, the newly-appointed Finance Minister, said on Thursday that he was leaving for Washington, where he was expected to meet with officials from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to resurrect a loan facility that had been stalled since the premature end of the Imran Khan government earlier this month.
Before leaving for Washington, Ismail, who succeeded Shaukat Tarin as the country’s finance czar in the new coalition, tweeted that the objective of the trip was to “bring back on track our IMF program that PTI and IK (Imran Khan) disrupted, therefore harming our economy.”
In the same news conference, Ismail revealed that the IMF wants Pakistan to eliminate prior government subsidies, such as those on fuel prices and power tariffs – two steps that former Prime Minister Imran Khan promised just before a no-trust motion was filed against him. The move drew widespread condemnation, with many claiming it violated Pakistan’s IMF pledges for the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility.
Ismail said the IMF had imposed a series of previous conditions, including a breakeven increase in fuel prices and taxes, the elimination of the amnesty scheme for companies, the reduction of circular debt, the raising of power rates, and the assurance of fiscal savings in the amount of Rs1.3 trillion.