Finance Minister Ishaq Dar declared on Tuesday that all procedural requirements for the ninth review of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) tranche had been met, except the outstanding issue of external funding.
Speaking at an event in Islamabad, Dar reflected on the term of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) government, a period during which he saw Pakistan on its way to becoming a formidable player in the global economy.
Minister Dar criticized the subsequent Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) government for handling the IMF agreement in 2019-20. He claimed that PTI reneged on their commitment halfway through the agreement, an action he believes tarnished the country’s reputation.
Dar further criticized the incumbent government for making decisions that, in his view, were taken recklessly, without consideration of their political repercussions.
He noted that the IMF team arrived in Pakistan three months behind schedule for the ninth review. Yet, despite the delay, he asserted that the review was meticulously and technically complete.
The Finance Minister pointed out that the IMF initially proposed a massive tax of Rs800 billion. However, the government successfully reduced this hefty sum to Rs170 billion through rigorous negotiation.
From Dar’s perspective, the government demonstrated responsibility by fulfilling the commitments set out by the state. The only pending concern he emphasized was the shortfall in external funding. He drew a parallel to the crisis faced by the nation after conducting nuclear tests in 1998, assuring that the government had also effectively managed that scenario.
Despite the accomplishments above, Dar candidly acknowledged the slow pace of the country’s economic growth, hinting at the need for measures to accelerate it.