ISLAMABAD, May 20: In a major development on the third day of negotiations between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), the federal government has decided to withdraw subsidies on petroleum products and electricity before Monday.
According to media reports, during the ongoing technical talks with the Fund mission in Doha, the Pakistani delegation also discussed the programme to privatise power plants. The schedule for privatisation of state-owned enterprises has also been shown to the IMF.
While Pakistan’s leadership has agreed to most of the conditions of the international lending body, sources, however, revealed that they have sought concession on a hike in the policy rate, citing its negative impact on business activities as a major reason. The central bank is scheduled to announce the monetary policy for the next month on May 23 (Monday). Pakistan’s delegation – under the leadership of Finance Secretary Hamed Yaqoob Shaikh – told the IMF mission that a hike in policy rate would dent business activities which would impact the economy of Pakistan. Talks for the revival of the multibillion dollars programme began on May 18 and will continue till May 25. During the technical-level talks with IMF officials, the Pakistani delegation includes representatives. -TLTP