ISLAMABAD: In a meeting with US Embassy Charge’d Affaires Andrew Schofer, Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar on Wednesday reiterated the federal government’s commitment to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.
During the meeting at the Finance Division, the finance minister informed Schofer about the ongoing IMF programme and assured him that the coalition government “is committed to completing the programme”, according to a statement released by the Ministry of Finance.
In response, the statement said, Schofer voiced his confidence in Pakistan’s policies and programmes for economic stability and extended his support to advance the existing economic and trade relations between the two states.The finance minister apprised the American diplomat about the economic situation and discussed the current challenges it was facing.
He further communicated about the difficult policy decisions recently being taken by the government with the aim of stabilising and subsequently boosting the economy, ensuring sustainable and inclusive growth.
During the meeting, Schofer and Dar also exchanged views on “remarkable bilateral relations held with the United States on economic and trade fronts”.
Dar thanked the US charge’d affaires and reiterated the government’s desire to expand bilateral trade and investment ties with the US.
The meeting comes a day after The News — citing sources — reported that Pakistani authorities and the Washington-based lender were blaming each other for the delay in the revival of the bailout programme.
Official sources told the publication on Monday that both the IMF and Pakistan were holding each other responsible for the “unwarranted delay” in the completion of the outstanding ninth review and reviving the stalled programme after the lapse of almost 80 days since both sides completed Islamabad parleys on February 9.
According to the report published in The News, Pakistan’s options for reviving the IMF programme are shrinking with the passage of every day. It is yet to be ascertained how the country will proceed to accomplish the existing IMF programme, which expires on June 30, 2023.
Earlier on Tuesday, Members of the ruling coalition and opposition PTI concluded the third round of crucial election talks at the Parliament House on Tuesday, with Finance Minister Ishaq Dar from the government’s negotiating team saying that a consensus was reached on holding elections on the same day across the country under a caretaker setup.
Separately, PTI’s Shah Mahmood Qureshi also confirmed this development, saying that they had “shown flexibility for the sake of national consensus”. But, he also announced that the PTI would approach the Supreme Court, brief it on the negotiations and request for elections in Punjab to be held on May 14.