IMF programme delay feared as parliament goes into recess
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There are fears that the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) loan programme for Pakistan might not be restored at the Fund’s executive board’s meeting to be held on January 12, 2022 as sessions of both the National Assembly and Senate, whose approval of the IMF-backed ‘mini budget’ is mandatory, have been prorogued for an indefinite time period, reported 24NewsHD TV channel on Friday.
Quoting its sources, the channel reported now it appeared that the IMF programme would be restored in the third week of January.
Sources further said that it would take 14 days to get the supplementary finance bill (mini budget) passed from the parliament while the executive board’s meeting was scheduled to be held two days earlier.
The procedure of getting the bill passed has become lengthy especially because the Senate’s Standing Committee on Finance will first deliberate on it before presenting its report to the parliament, which will consume lot of time.
Sources further revealed that the IMF’s conditions, now made part of the mini budget, had put the Punjab government under lot of pressure as now it would have to pay Rs300 billion to the Center from its own sources of income with a 2.5 per cent mark up.
Last financial year, the provincial government had to pay Rs125 billion to the federal government in order to help the latter meet IMF demands.
However, quoting the Punjab finance department, the sources told 24News that no deduction would be made from the budget allocated for the provincial government’s expenditures.
Shehbaz again slams PTI government: Meanwhile, Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz President has again hit out at the Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government for what he has called succumbing to the IMF’s pressure. “The consequences of putting the State Bank of Pakistan under the international money lending organisation’s control and the ‘mini budget’ will begin to make their presence felt in few months from now. Reporter: Waqas Azeem