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PM Shehbaz demands immediate action to increase the competitiveness of exports

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Attending a trade sector meeting, the prime minister ordered the exporters’ verified duty drawback to be paid immediately and recommended actions to encourage the export of non-traditional commodities. In order to support the auto industry, he emphasized the importance of the private sector and directed that their input be sought out while formulating policies. He also directed that the deletion policy be adopted.

In order to evaluate the performance of trade and investment officers stationed in Pakistan’s overseas missions and to identify and remove incompetent officers, Prime Minister Shehbaz instructed the relevant ministry to develop a comprehensive strategy.

Speaking to the group, the prime minister announced that he would do the biweekly evaluation of the export industries himself.

During the meeting, the prime minister was informed that talks for a free trade agreement between Pakistan and the Gulf states were nearing their conclusion, and that transit trade agreements with Tajikistan and Uzbekistan had already taken shape.

Approximately 450 business-to-business meetings were held during the last Pak-Saudi Business Conference, and the number of e-commerce transactions was continuously rising with over 3,000 companies signing up for the Pakistan Trade Portal, according to information presented to the meeting.

In addition, the meeting was informed of the tight oversight of the Afghan Transit Trade, the double-digit premium growth of public sector insurance businesses, the completion of the Gem Export Framework, and the preliminary consent given by Pakistan and Russia to operationalize the barter trade.

The New Strategic Trade Policy and the preferential trade agreements with Afghanistan and Azerbaijan were said to be the subjects of ongoing stakeholder consultation.

The Technology and Innovation Fund for industrial development was also being established, requiring the enactment of the relevant legislation.

Federal Ministers Muhammad Aurangzeb, Ahad Khan Cheema, Dr. Musaddik Malik, Jam Kamal Khan, and Jahanzeb Khan, Deputy Chairman of the Planning Commission, as well as pertinent senior officers, attended the meeting.

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Pakistan’s gold prices are still declining; see the most recent

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The price of 10-gram gold reduced by Rs943 to settle at Rs207,733, while the price of gold dropped by Rs1200 to close at Rs242,300 a tola, according to the Sindh Sarafa Jewellers Association.

In the global market, the price of the precious metal fell by $10 to $2,349 per ounce, resulting in losses.

At 04:48 GMT, the spot price of gold had dropped by 0.2% to $2,354.77 per ounce. In the previous session, prices reached a two-week high.

American gold futures dropped 0.6% to $2,361.

Spot silver decreased by 0.4% to $28.03 per ounce, while palladium remained steady at $978.03 and platinum decreased by 0.1% to $992.89.

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Pakistan and the IMF begin talks for a new loan.

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Pakistan is requesting a $6 to $8 billion bailout package from the international lender over the next three to four years to address its financial troubles.

A mission team led by Nathan Porter, the IMF’s Mission Chief in Pakistan, is meeting with a Pakistani delegation led by Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb.

According to sources familiar with the situation, Islamabad may face more difficult options, such as raising power and gas bills.

Mr. Aurganzeb informed the IMF team that the country’s economy has improved as a result of the IMF loan package, and Islamabad is ready to sign a new loan programme to further develop.

The IMF mission expressed satisfaction with Islamabad’s efforts to revive the country’s struggling economy.

The IMF praised Pakistan’s economic growth in its staff report earlier this week, but warned that the outlook remains challenging, with very high downside risks.

The country nearly avoided collapse last summer, and its $350 billion economy has stabilized since the end of the last IMF program, with inflation falling to roughly 17% in April from a record high of 38% last May.

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Petrol prices are likely to drop significantly beginning May 16.

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According to sources, the government is set to decrease petrol prices by Rs 14 per litre and diesel prices by Rs 10 on May 16 for the next fortnight’s revision.

Last month, the government reduced the price of fuel and high-speed diesel by Rs5.45 and Rs8.42 per fortnight, respectively.

The current fuel price is Rs288.49 per litre, while the HSD price is Rs281.96.

Meanwhile, oil prices fell further on Monday, as signs of sluggish fuel consumption and comments from U.S. Federal Reserve officials dimmed optimism for interest rate reduction, which may slow growth and reduce fuel demand in the world’s largest economy.

Brent crude prices down 25 cents, or 0.3%, to $82.54 a barrel, while US West Texas Intermediate crude futures fell 19 cents, or 0.2%, to $78.07 per barrel.

Oil prices also declined on signals of poor demand, according to ANZ analysts, as gasoline and distillate inventories in the United States increased in the week before the start of the driving season.

Refiners throughout the world are dealing with falling diesel profitability as new refineries increase supply and warm weather in the northern hemisphere and weak economic activity reduce demand.

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