Pakistan eyes large IMF programme to deal with slow economic growth, record inflation

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ISLAMABAD – Pakistan’s newly elected Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb shared his approach to International Monetary Fund (IMF) lending as talks are set to start in the coming days.

Aurangzeb said Islamabad is looking for a larger and prolonged International Monetary Fund (IMF) deal to deal with low economic growth and soaring inflation through stabilisation policies.

The finance czar stressed the urge to move away from temporary fixes and towards more permanent solutions to curb economic woes. He called macroeconomic stability of paramount importance, indicating that South Asian nation was prepared to adhere to the IMF’s recommendations.

Aurangzeb shared his approach to an IMF team’s visit to a crisis-hit nation for policy discussions regarding the final tranche of a $1.1 billion loan. 

He stressed need to fully implement structural benchmarks to avoid repeated short-term solutions. Aurangzeb hinted at a possible reduction in interest rates as inflation rates slowed down but emphasized that such decisions were up to the State Bank of Pakistan’s Monetary Policy Committee.

He further highlighted importance of the Special Investment Facilitation Council SIFC for attracting foreign investment, and was optimistic about starting foreign commercial loans after finalizing the new IMF program but remained cautious about tapping into international capital markets.

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