Aslam says the IMF is postponing the meeting because it wants to raise fuel prices

Aslam says the IMF is postponing the meeting because it wants to raise fuel prices

According to Muzzammil Aslam, a financial spokesperson for Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), the IMF has postponed a meeting with Pakistani officials until May 18 because they are seeking a raise in fuel and diesel prices. “If prices are raised, an IMF mission could meet Pakistani authorities in Doha starting May 18,” he added, adding that the international lender wanted the next budget to include excessive taxes on the average man. According to Aslam, the IMF mission, which is slated to visit Pakistan on May 10, is delaying the meeting for the delivery of the USD 1 billion tranches because the new administration wants to raise the costs of gasoline, diesel, and electricity before staff-level talks.

He further claimed that the government will also not receive any funds from friendly countries. Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has agreed with International Monetary Funds’ (IMF) recommendations to reduce fuel subsidies phase-wise. Miftah Ismail had held a meeting with the executive directors of the Fund in Washington for the revival of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme. Sources say that the finance minister hinted to carry forward the IMF program and agreed to curb subsidies on the fuel and electricity phase-wise. Meanwhile, the IMF said it has no objection to the Income Support Programme and added Pakistan can continue subsidies for the marginalised section of the society. The IMF has also shown its consent to the continuation of the Sehat Card scheme, the sources said.

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