IMF giving Pakistan tough time as new condition rolled out ahead of staff-level agreement

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ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON – The International Monetary Fund is giving crisis-hit Pakistan a tough time over unlocking of stalled bailout package as the lender has put forward a new condition before signing a staff-level agreement.

After imposing extremely stern conditions for bailout funds, the US-based financial organization has now demanded a written assurance of financing from friendly nations, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates by June 30.

The government maintained that written assurance will be provided by the executive directors of the KSA and other nations at the International Monetary Fund. In this regard, Finance Ministry along with the PM House mulled steps to get written assurance from these nations.

The cash-strapped country has completed almost all prerequisites set by the lender, including imposing Rs200 billion in taxes in a mini-budget and jacking up power and gas tariffs.

Islamabad also agreed with the lender’s latest condition not to get direct loans from commercial banks.Amid continued delay, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Pakistan will sign the staff-level agreement in the coming days. Experts claimed that political turmoil in South Asian nations has become a key factor in delaying a much-needed deal that may stabilize the economy. Both sides continued talks for months now but are yet to reach an agreement.

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