The first round of talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) remained inconclusive as government officials failed to convince the global financial lender to revive the loan programme, ARY News reported on Tuesday.
Finance ministry sources told ARY News that there has been an impasse in the virtual talks between Pakistan and the IMF on the 9th revision of the loan programme. Sources added that Pakistan has assured the IMF that it will complete the 9th review.
However, the schedule for the IMF mission visit to Pakistan was not finalized in the first round of virtual talks today. Sources said both sides are expected to resume negotiations tomorrow.
The economic team and IMF staff will complete the virtual dialogues by Wednesday (tomorrow). Before the arrival of the IMF mission, the global institution asked Pakistan to meet the demands.
Sources said that Pakistan has assured the IMF of achieving all targets. It was learned that the schedule for the visit of the IMF mission to Pakistan will likely be finalized after the completion of virtual talks.
The conditions of the IMF
Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) held the first round of virtual talks on the conditions for reviving the loan program.
Sources told ARY News that the IMF has asked Pakistan to maintain the exchange rate of the US dollar at the open market rate besides ending the artificial peg on the exchange rate.
In addition, the global financial institution also sought a roadmap to collect Rs 855 billion through oil levy by June 30, 2023, sources added.
It has been learned that the IMF has asked Pakistan to increase the diesel levy from Rs 35 to Rs 50 per litre, besides ending the Rs 1,500 billion gas sector circular debt and implementing the Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority decision. (OGRA) to increase natural gas. prices.
Sources also said that among the IMF’s conditions was a 74% gas rate hike from July 1, 2022, to reduce cyclical debt. In addition, Pakistan was asked to take steps to improve tax collections of Rs.200.
It emerged that the federal government has prepared a decree to increase the tax net. The government will also be required to impose a sales tax on petrol and diesel. To revive the IMF program, the government will also need to increase the basic electricity tariff to reduce line losses.