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Pakistan an IMF member, not a beggar: Ishaq Dar

ISLAMABAD, APR 8: Rubbishing rumours that officials from International Monetary Fund (IMF) refused to meet him at the Bretton Woods institutions’ spring meetings, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Saturday clarified he postponed his visit to the US on Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s request — in view of the political situation.

“Pakistan is a member of the IMF and not a beggar,” Dar said in a fiery speech addressing rumours that he decided to postpone his trip due to resistance from the Washington-based lender.

He emphasised that IMF “cannot stop me from attending the spring meetings”.

Dar was expected to attend the spring meetings of the World Bank-IMF that were taking place from April 10 to 16 in Washington.

Meanwhile, he was also scheduled to meet the IMF management for holding talks regarding the removal of bottlenecks for the revival of the derailed $6.5 billion programme.

Islamabad has been negotiating with the IMF since the end of January for the release of $1.1 billion from a $6.5 billion bailout package agreed upon in 2019. To unlock the funding, the government has cut back on subsidies, removed an artificial cap on the exchange rate, added taxes and raised fuel prices.

However, assurances from friendly nations for additional funds have delayed the agreement.

The finance minister — who was sworn in last year in September — said that currently the county of 220 million people was reeling through the repercussions of the constitutional crisis.

“The Ministry of Finance has a huge responsibility regarding the disbursement of funds to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) in light of the Supreme Court’ April 4 ruling.

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