Govt slams PTI for ‘hurting IMF deal’

Govt slams PTI for ‘hurting IMF deal’

IMF’s board meeting

Just days before the IMF’s board meeting on Monday, the coalition government took notice of PTI’s “attempts to jeopardise the IMF loan programme.” 

Finance Minister Miftah Ismail made an impassioned appeal to avoid politics at a time when unprecedented floods have wreaked havoc on every nook and cranny of the country. 

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa administration allegedly refused to fulfil the conditions of the IMF deal in a letter as part of “a plot to plunge Pakistan into a flood of economic disaster,” according to a joint statement from the ruling parties, which criticised it for “playing politics.” 

The late-night announcement was one of a string of actions that followed the letter that KP Finance Minister Taimur Khan Jhagra sent to his federal counterpart Miftah Ismail on Friday. 

In the letter, Mr. Jhagra warned Mr. Ismail that given the devastation caused by the storm, his KP administration might find it challenging to maintain a provincial surplus this year. 

IMF programme

A crucial condition previously agreed upon to restart the IMF programme is that provinces guarantee surpluses this fiscal year. 

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If the federal government didn’t address certain issues, such as budget allocations for ex-Fata, monthly transfers of net hydrocarbon profits in accordance with agreed terms, swiftly reviving the National Finance Commission award, etc., Mr. Jhagra claimed that running a surplus would be “next to impossible.” 

Finance Minister Ismail responded to the letter in his second press conference of the day late at night, denouncing what he called PTI’s “attempts to sabotage the IMF deal.” 

Completely wreck Pakistan’s economy

The finance minister stated during a press conference alongside the information minister, Marriyum Aurangzeb, that throwing a wrench into the works now might completely wreck Pakistan’s economy. 

He regretted that the PTI was “playing politics” when millions of families were being impacted by floods caused by rain across the nation. “If you can’t quit politics even now, let the country default.” 

But Mr. Ismail anticipated that when he sees Mr. Jhagra on Monday, the issue would be resolved. He added that the KP minister had informed him that Taimur Jhagra had not transmitted the letter to the IMF, despite an earlier media accusation that he did. “Taimur Jhagra is an honourable man,” he stated. He hoped that the IMF would approve the programme on Monday. 

Fawad Chaudhry and Shaukat Tarin, two PTI leaders and ex-ministers, came under fire from Mr. Ismail for implying that the governments of Punjab and KP would not work with the federal government on the IMF programme.

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