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IMF gave verbal assurance on loan revival: PM Shehbaz

ISLAMABAD, JUN 09 (DNA) — Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday said a verbal agreement has reached with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for signing the new agreement.

Addressing to a cabinet meeting called for the approval of the 2023-24 budget, PM Shehbaz hoped that the new agreement with the IMF will be signed by the month end. He said the government has fulfilled all the conditions of the IMF.

Criticising PTI government of the past, he said that the PTI government destroyed Pakistani economy that resulted into historic inflation. He said the historic inflation has increased the suffering of the poor manifold.

Prime Minister Shehbaz said a country’s sound economic growth was linked with its political stability. “Without political stability, even billions of budget could not make a difference in improving the economic situation,” he said.

The prime minister said the common man was bearing the brunt of inflation, however, the government was taking steps to provide them relief in the budget. The government, he said, accepted all the requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and hoped that a staff-level agreement would be reached in near future.

Since assumption of power 14 months ago, he added, it had to deal with the challenge of IMF, post-flood situation and global inflation, he added. Referring to the devastating floods triggered by climate change, he said that it inflicted losses worth over $30 billion on the country’s economy.

 He added that the Ukraine crisis also pushed the prices of commodities in the international market. “A country’s sound economic growth is linked with its political stability,” the premier said, adding that without political stability, even billions of budget could not make a difference in improving the economic situation.

He expressed satisfaction that the current deficit in 10 months was reduced to $3.3 billion and hoped that the agriculture sector would boost. The government, he further said, is cognisant of the problems being faced by the common man due to inflation.

“We have to take care of the salaried class as well as the pensioners so that they can meet their basic requirements.” He maintained that for the last 14 months, the government since assumption of power was to deal with the challenge of the IMF, the post-flood situation and global inflation.

The prime minister appointed Rohail Sheikh as his adviser and expressed the hope that he would fulfill his responsibilities with diligence. The cabinet also accorded approval to the Finance Bill 2023. — DNA

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