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Wednesday, February 28, 2024  
17 Shaban 1445  

Finance czar Ishaq Dar had ‘Plan B’ up his sleeves if IMF deal was not clinched

Says Pakistan paid every payment on time
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar speaks during the Senate session on July 30, 2023. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar speaks during the Senate session on July 30, 2023. Screengrab via YouTube/PTV News

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has claimed that ‘Plan B’ was ready if a deal was not clinched with the International Monetary Fund which many described as a “lifeline” for the cash-strapped country.

“We had a clear policy that Pakistan will complete its sovereign commitments on time, IMF or no IMF,” he said on the floor of the Senate on Saturday. “I have repeatedly said this inside Parliament and outside Parliament and our Plan B was ready that ultimately if there was not this programme how we have to proceed.”

On July 12, the IMF’s executive board approved the agreement between Pakistan and the lender for the $3 billion stand-by arrangement for nine months. The last-minute IMF bailout was clinched after a short-term IMF deal was signed on June 30.

Read: IMF wants Pakistan to become Sri Lanka, claims Finance Minister Ishaq Dar

Dar mentioned that the ruling alliance was near the level of foreign exchange reserves present when the government took over despite paying all the due payments.

“Without IMF programme or without any inflow because when IMF is off track all payments are stopped so despite that not just we paid payments on time but also raise the reserves closer to $14 billion,” he said and added that efforts were under way to further increase it.

While speaking about the forecast of rating agencies that Pakistan would default, the finance czar added that he kept on saying that the country would not default and pay all payments on time.

Read: Rs3 to Rs262: A political history of Pakistan’s dollar

Dar said that he was grateful to China for rolling over the payments. “We paid the Chinese commercial banks ahead of time without any penalty and the money was returned to Pakistan in the last week of June,” he said.

The finance minister added that the government paid more than $5 billion to commercial banks over the past five to six months.

He added that Pakistan would get a cheap loan of 450 million dollars from the World Bank in September. In order to improve the quality of Pakistan’s national airline, he said the Civil Aviation Bill was amended which has been approved.

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Ishaq Dar

Finance minister

IMF

IMF programme

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