A foreign currency dealer counts US dollars at a shop in Karachi on May 19, 2022. — AFP

The government’s moves to meet several demands of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) — through the budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 — have rekindled hopes of the stalled bailout programme’s revival.

The nation desperately seeks to unlock the funds before the June 30 deadline for the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) — agreed upon in 2019 — expires, and Pakistan is pushed towards a sovereign default.

Pakistan will take one step closer to economic stability if or when the IMF deal revives.

Also, due to the ongoing economic turmoil, the rupee dropped to historic low levels during the outgoing year and cumulatively plunged 28% to 286 as of June 27, 2023, against the dollar compared to 204.8 on June 30, 2022.

However, Pakistan’s top currency dealer has predicted that the rupee could recover significantly if the IMF deal is revived.

In a video message to the media, Malik Bostan, the president of the Exchange Companies Association of Pakistan (ECAP), said that he expects that the IMF agreement will boost the rupee to a level of 270 versus the dollar.

IMF’s Mission Chief to Pakistan Nathan Porter has said that discussions with Pakistani authorities are underway “with the aim of quickly reaching an agreement on financial support from the IMF”.

“Over the past few days, the Pakistani authorities have taken decisive measures to bring policies more in line with the economic reform programme,” he said in a statement on Tuesday.

Pakistan also hoped a day earlier that it would hear IMF’s decision on the programme within a day or two.

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