Naveed Qamar sees ailing economy getting better through IMF deal
Govt will incentivise business community to promote trade with US
WASHINGTON (Dunya News) – Federal Minister for Trade Naveed Qamar said on Saturday the country’s ailing economy could trek the path of betterment through a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Speaking to the media, he said the United States (US) was the largest market for Pakistan’s exports, adding the government would incentivise the business community to promote trade with the US. “Pak-US relations are improving with time and we expect that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) programme would see positive development,” he added.
The International Monetary Fund (IMF) had, earlier, stressed upon Pakistan to tighten its monetary policy and enhance interest rate after the IMF officials reviewed efforts made by Pakistan to complete the staff-level agreement that could help unlock a tranche of $1.1 billion of the $7 billion loan.
It merits mention here that Pakistan and the IMF could not reach a staff-level agreement as talks between the government and the global lender ended. In the talks, actions and advance measures had been agreed upon, and the IMF mission asked for more time for the agreement saying it could be inked after approval from Washington. However, a few days ago, top economic managers of the country updated the parliamentary committees regarding all conditions agreed upon with the IMF and expected that the staff-level agreement could be reached this week.
Sources told Dunya News that Pakistan had been facing pressure to implement the Fund's requirements through advanced measures in time. They said tightening the monetary policy was likely to increase interest rates. The State Bank of Pakistan's base interest rate is currently 17 per cent while the IMF is calling for another 2pc increase in interest rates.
According to the sources, the Pakistan side informed the IMF about the previous measures and gave a briefing on the financing of friendly countries, and China's refinancing decision of $700 million. "The IMF was also briefed on the financing of $1.2 billion from the United Arab Emirates, in addition to the financing through shares in the stock market of the UAE and Qatar", sources added.