Pakistan finance minister's ‘realistic’ hope for country amid economic crisis
Pakistan Economic Crisis: Pakistan's budget comes as Islamabad seeks more bailout money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
Pakistan's finance minister said that a projection in the country's budget of 3.5% economic growth for the year 2023-2024 was a "realistic target". It was a target "on the lower side", Ishaq Dar said a day after presenting the budget for the country amid economic crisis. The country's budget comes as Islamabad seeks more bailout money from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
The finance minister said that he was "hopeful" that Pakistan would pass its next IMF review- ninth for the country. But he "didn't think" it would clear reviews beyond that, he added. Pakistan's gross domestic product (GDP) was projected to grow just 0.29% while the budget said that the fiscal deficit for the following fiscal year was projected at 6.54% of GDP.
Ishaq Dar said that there was "no more room" in the budget to reduce the fiscal deficit target by any further as the country faces a series of economy crisis exacerbated by a stall in bailout funding from the IMF.
The Shehbaz Shairf government had no plans to reschedule its debt to Paris Club creditor nations or to seek haircuts on its debt, the finance minister further informed. Pakistan is required to secure firm and credible financing commitments to close the $6 billion gap in order to unlock funding under the IMF review. Pakistan has already gotten commitments of only $4 billion, mainly from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates, it was earlier reported.