Miftah rejects IMF report over deteriorating economy

LAHORE: Adviser to Prime Minister Miftah Ismail rejected an International Monetary Fund (IMF) assessment pointing towards the deteriorating condition of the Pakistan’s economy and said that plans to issue dollar or Chinese currency bonds have not been finalised, reported Bloomberg.

Earlier, the IMF in a statement expressed concerns over Pakistan’s medium term capacity to repay it due to continual fiscal imbalances that are weakening the economy. Pakistan’s current account deficit is expected to reach 4.8 per cent of gross domestic product by the end of the current fiscal year while its foreign-exchange reserves have dropped 27 per cent to $12.3 billion in the past year.

On the other hand, Miftah Ismail look positive about the Pakistani economy. “Given the growth of our economy, this growth will solve lot of problems. Last year fiscal deficit went up due to political upheaval — but we will bring it down to less than five per cent. We’ll make sure, our current account deficit is under control and not more than 3 per cent next year,” he commented while talking to Bloomberg.

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Miftah further said that Pakistan is looking to issue a Panda bond which will be sold in China and stressed that there is no question of it going back to the IMF. “Unfortunately US Treasury interest rates have gone up,” said Ismail. “We’re a very price sensitive issuer. We’ll issue bonds when the prices are right.”

Earlier this week, reports emerged that Pakistan was looking to raise $1 billion in dollar bonds and get up to $1.5 billion from China in short term financing, however Miftah refused to comment on the exact amount.



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