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Pakistan to receive $1.17b from IMF within six days after board’s approval: SBP chief

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  • IMF’s executive board is scheduled to meet on August 29.
  • Fund will take up matter of loan dispersal to Pakistan.
  • “Pakistan has commitments of $38bn, we are over financed,” says acting SBP governor.

KARACHI: Pakistan is likely to receive a $1.17 billion loan tranche from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) within six days after the Executive Board’s approval, State Bank of Pakistan Acting Governor Murtaza Syed told Bloomberg TV.

The executive board of the Washington-based lender is scheduled to meet on August 29 (Monday); accordingly, analysts expect the Fund to give its final approval as Pakistan has met all prior conditions necessary to revive the stalled loan programme.

The acting governor said that the country’s forex reserves will shore up to $16 billion by the end of the current fiscal year 2022-23 which dropped to $8 billion due to delay in the revival of the IMF agreement and external flows.

“Pakistan has commitments of $38 billion so we are over financed,” he said, adding that approvals of bilateral help will materialise soon, amounting to $4 billion, while the current account deficit is expected to clock in at around 3% of the gross domestic product.

Pakistan has approached China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE to meet the financing gap on the IMF’s demand.

The breakdown of commitment of $4 billion from friendly countries includes $2 billion from Qatar, $1 billion from Saudi Arabia (deferred oil facility), and $1 billion from UAE (investment). These amounts are expected to be received over the next twelve months.

Islamabad reached the staff-level agreement with the Washington-based lender in July but the board meeting could not be held despite Pakistan’s appeal to expedite the process.

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Pakistan’s gold price increases by an additional Rs. 800 per tola.

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The price of yellow metal in the local market hit Rs247,300 on the first working day of the week, following a rise of Rs800 in a single day.

The cost of ten grams of 24-karat gold increased by Rs686 on Monday, making the current price Rs212,020.

In addition, the cost of 10 grams of 22-karat gold increased significantly, trading at Rs194,351.

These fluctuations are strongly correlated with shifts in the US dollar’s value, demonstrating the tight connection between gold prices and exchange rates. This emphasizes how local gold markets are impacted by variables related to the global economy.

The price of the precious metal dropped $16 on the international market on Monday, hitting $2,348 per ounce.

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A delegation from Pakistan travels to the US to bargain with the IMF for a new loan.

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The Pakistani delegation consists of the Governor of the State Bank of Pakistan, the Secretary of Finance, the Additional Secretary, and other individuals.

The Finance Minister was greeted at the airport by Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Masood Khan, and Embassy staff.

The Finance Minister will meet with representatives of the World Bank and IMF while he is in the US.

The IMF and Pakistan are expected to negotiate next week, according to sources.

Sources claim that Islamabad will apply for a new credit package from the IMF.

The Finance Minister’s itinerary also includes meetings with members of think tanks and the world press.

Last month, Pakistan and the IMF came to a staff-level agreement over the third and final review of the $3 billion stand-by arrangement. Should the board of the global lender approve this deal, Pakistan will get approximately $1.1 billion.

Although a specific date has not been determined, the IMF board is anticipated to evaluate the case in late April, according to a spokeswoman.

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Pakistan’s petrol prices are anticipated to rise.

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The Oil and Gas Regulatory Authority (OGRA) will not disclose the anticipated increase in fuel prices until its work is finished, according to sources.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif will receive the summary of the petrol price, and sources further stated that the new pricing will be revealed following his approval today.

Noteworthy to highlight is that Pakistan was previously ordered by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to impose an 18% General Sales Tax (GST) on gasoline.

Details indicate that Pakistan was requested by the Monetary Fund to stop reducing sales tax on all goods, including gasoline.

To boost tax revenue, Pakistan’s recently elected government should impose a sales tax on petroleum items in addition to a Rs 60 charge.

High-speed diesel (HSD) was reduced by Rs3.32 per litre on March 31 but petrol prices increased by Rs9.66 per litre by the government.

In contrast to the reduction in the price of high-speed diesel (HSD) to Rs282.24 from Rs278.92, the price of gasoline jumped to Rs289.41 per litre.

The adjustments were brought about by a commensurate increase in the price of gasoline and a decline in the price of HSD on the global market, according to a statement released by the Finance Ministry.

According to the statement, the adjustment was made in accordance with government policy, which transfers pricing differences from the foreign market to the home market.

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