Shehbaz upbeat about IMF deal this month

PM inaugurates Karachi-Islamabad Green Line Express

Our Correspondent January 27, 2023


Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday expressed the confidence that Pakistan would conclude a deal with International Monetary Fund (IMF) during the current month in a bid to overcome financial challenges.

“I fully expect that an agreement with the IMF will be signed this month and we will get out of the [financial] difficulties. And multilateral institutions will also support us.”

The prime minister shared the views while addressing the inauguration ceremony of Green Line Express train service at Margalla Railway Station in Islamabad.

A day earlier, the IMF announced its decision to continue discussions with Pakistan under the 9th EFF (Extended Fund Facility) review, now that the government has given up control of the rupee-dollar exchange rate.

Although the major development means Pakistan is expected to narrowly escape defaulting on its international payments and its foreign exchange reserves are expected to improve, some of the IMF's conditions are likely to result in negative economic growth and hyperinflation.

With no other options left, the prime minister has said that his government is ready to take all the necessary decisions required to revive the IMF programme worth $6.5 billion.

In his speech at the ceremony, the prime minister said that outsourcing is the way forward. "This is the model of today's world. Today, governments do not run institutions themselves but rather outsource them," he added.

The prime minister said headway in talks with the IMF would help the country address the current economic situation.

The IMF delegation will be visiting Islamabad from January 31 to February 9 to continue discussions regarding the ninth review of the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Read Railways set to resume Green Line train operations

He endorsed the concept of outsourcing Pakistan Railways to make it better equipped and at par with contemporary services.

The prime minister said Main Line-1 (ML-1) railway track was a top priority for the government and mentioned that China was committed to its early completion.

The new train service comprising modern coaches imported from China was launched from the Margalla train station, Islamabad.

The Green Line train will have stops at the stations at Rawalpindi, Chaklala, Lahore, Khanewal, Bahawalpur, Rohri, Hyderabad and Drigh Road, Karachi stations.

The turnaround time of the Green Line is set at 22 hours, which will be reduced gradually.

Minister for Railways Khawaja Saad Rafiq said the ticket would cover breakfast, lunch, hi-tea, and dinner besides wifi. Apart from this, he said, high-quality bedding and utility kits will also be provided to the passengers.

He said around 2,200 passengers would benefit from the train service to be run between Islamabad to Karachi.

He said Pakistan Railways would formulate rules for the approval of the cabinet in the next few days regarding the collection of revenue from its land.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said Pakistan had become the 24th largest economy in the world under the leadership of then prime minister Nawaz Sharif.


Replying to X

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive.

For more information, please see our Comments FAQ

Most Read