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Dar reiterates Pakistan’s commitment to IMF programme

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  • Commitment comes during Dar’s meeting with US diplomat.
  • He apprises the American diplomat about economic situation.
  • Schofer confident in Pakistan’s policies and programmes.

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.

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An increase in tax was made on restaurant card payments.

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After 15 years, the SRB reduced the service tax that 58 hotels and restaurants in Karachi could have charged on debit and credit card purchases to 15%. This action is a part of the Sindh budget, which was designed to make eating out less expensive for customers.

Prior to this, Sindh’s tax on credit and debit card purchases was lowered from 15% to 8%.

Officials from the SRB have further stated that the service was made available for input adjustment of restaurant tax payments. With this step, businesses will be able to efficiently handle their tax responsibilities and the tax process would be made simpler.

Only a few eateries have been given authority to remove the lower tax rate, even though this tax facility has been reversed.

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The KSE-100 Index rises following a sharp decline in the previous session.

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The government is considering filing a treason case under Article 6 against PTI founder Imran Khan, former president Arif Alvi, and former deputy speaker Qasim Suri. On Tuesday, the KSE-100 Index was up more than 1.3% during early trading, following a day of roughly a 2 percent loss due to growing political unrest and the potential banning of the party.

However, the benchmark index of the Pakistan Stock Exchange was trading at 79,074.63 by 11:49 a.m., having gained 535.45 points, or 0.68 percent, after reaching an intraday high of 79,578.04.

Market analysts said that political tensions were the primary cause of the KSE-100’s earlier Monday decline of 1578.71 points, or 1.97 percent.

They did point out, though, that a correction was a reasonable reaction to the protracted upswing that allowed the benchmark mark index to reach 81,839.86 on July 18.

As a result of interest rate cuts and the possibility of another IMF program, the Pakistan Stock Exchange has gained 22.97 percent so far this year. The cycle began on June 10 with a 1.5 percent decrease in borrowing costs.

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In interbank trade, the US dollar crushes the Pakistani rupee.

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During interbank trade on Tuesday, the US dollar’s value increased by 15 paisas, reaching Rs 278.45.

It is important to remember that Fitch Business Monitor International expressed concern about the possibility that Pakistan’s economic stability may be jeopardized by the ongoing political unrest.

The fragile situation of Pakistan’s economic recovery was emphasized by Fitch in its most recent Pakistan Country Risk Report, which also noted that economic activity has been impeded by urban protests.

(PTI),In spite of multiple successful judicial appeals, the founder of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) is expected to stay behind bars, the article notes, underscoring the fragile political environment.

With no urgent plans for new elections, this scenario suggests that the coalition administration will remain in office for the next 18 months.

Fitch also described an eventuality in which the government could change and be replaced by a technocratic administration. This suggests that the government of Pakistan would carry out the reforms demanded by the IMF, contributing to the 3.2% GDP growth expected in 2024–2025.

The policy rate has stabilized above projections, while the research predicted it may reach 16 percent this fiscal year and 14 percent the following year.

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