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Pakistan, IMF expected to reach agreement in June, says finance minister

Pakistan is expected to reach an agreement with the IMF next month to resuscitate an enhanced bailout package to support the cash-strapped country’s economy, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said.

Pakistan has repeatedly requested international aid to support its failing economy.

The talks with the International Monetary Fund are being held in Doha, the Qatari capital.

He said the country is expected to need $36 billion to $37 billion in foreign financing in the next fiscal year.

Speaking at a webinar on National Dialogue on Economy: The Way Forward for Pakistan, hosted by Nutshell Conferences and Corporate Pakistan Group on Saturday, Ismail revealed that at present, the government does not did not plan to raise new external debt from the global capital market and commercial banks. after the country’s international bonds lost nearly a third of their value, while their yields rose significantly, The Express Tribune reported.

He said that instead of economic growth, controlling inflation was the government’s top priority.

Controlling inflation will lead to economic growth, he said.

Giving the breakdown of external financing needs, Ismail said Pakistan had to repay $21 billion in external debt in the next financial year.

In addition, the country will need an additional $10-15 billion to finance the current account deficit.

The government also aims to increase the country’s foreign exchange reserves by $5 billion to $15 billion next year.

It is therefore essential to enter the IMF loan program (worth $ 6 billion) to arrange the financing required, Ismail said of talks with the global crisis lender which began on May 18 in Doha.

The Minister of Finance invited all political parties to frame the Charter of the Economy, which could include the minimum economic agenda by putting aside political differences.

Saudi Arabia has agreed to provide Pakistan with a “significant package” of around $8 billion to help the cash-strapped country bolster its dwindling foreign exchange reserves and revive its struggling economy.

Pakistan secured the deal during Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s visit to Saudi Arabia. The financial package includes the doubling of the oil financing facility, additional funds in the form of deposits or Sukuks and the renewal of the existing facilities by $4.2 billion.

“Imran reached out to Zardari before the vote”

A leaked audio recording of an alleged phone conversation between former Pakistani President Asif Ali Zardari and real estate tycoon Malik Riaz Hussain has surfaced, in which Riaz was overheard saying that ousted Prime Minister Imran Khan wanted to reach out. hand in Zardari for reconciliation talks ahead of the no-confidence vote in parliament last month.

Iran unveils drone base in undisclosed location

Iranian state television broadcast footage from a drone airbase below the Zagros mountain range in the west of the country. The exact location of the base has not been revealed, although the TV reporter said he traveled by helicopter for nearly 40 minutes from the town of Kermanshah to reach it.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been edited by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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