Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Thursday was confident that matters will be settled with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and said that the people will soon hear “good news”.
The minister made the remarks during his brief interaction with media persons at the concluding ceremony for the Road Safety Conference for Parliamentarians in Islamabad.
Pakistan and the IMF are holding talks for the completion of the 9th programme review and its successful culmination can unlock the $1.1 billion loan tranche.
Until the IMF deal was announced, the other multilateral and bilateral lenders would not opt to give major new loans to Pakistan.
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A day earlier, talks between Pakistan and the Fund had boiled down to two most crucial issues – the credibility of the government’s assurances and the reliability of foreign loans committed by other nations, delaying the handover of the Memorandum for Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP).
In order to break the deadlock, Dar and IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter met, away from the media glare and behind closed doors at the PM House. The meeting venue was changed from the finance ministry to the PM House to avoid the media.
However, the minister appeared confident today and said that matters with the global money lender “will be settled soon”.
During his address at the ceremony, Dar stated that the government is working expeditiously to enhance the length and quality of road infrastructure in the country to facilitate economic growth and prosperity.
He maintained that the government was pursuing the effective application of road safety laws to ensure accident-free traffic flow in the country.
He urged parliamentarians to find necessary solutions to improve road safety and underscored the need to focus more on comprehensive legislation to devise traffic laws and ensure their strict implementation.
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Dar said the government has included 50 projects totalling Rs118.4 billion in the current fiscal year to provide safe and modern transportation.
He highlighted that the PML-N government in the early 90s executed the motorway project from Islamabad to Lahore and now the network of motorways expanded throughout the country.
Funds from overseas Pakistanis
Earlier, to address the country’s current financial crisis, Dar had given the greenlight to raise interest-free debt worth around $2 billion from overseas Pakistanis for a five-year term.
While speaking at a conference titled ‘Defining a Roadmap for the Islamisation of Pakistan’s Economy’, Saylani Welfare International Trust (SWIT) Chairman Bashir Farooqi sought the finance minister’s approval for the trust to voluntarily raise $2 billion from overseas Pakistanis through their global welfare network.
Dar, who joined online through a video conference link, issued directives to the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP), the committee of SWIT officials and like-minded people to meet and deliberate upon the procedure to raise the said funds.