General Qamar Javed Bajwa seeks US help for speedy IMF bailout

General Qamar Javed Bajwa seeks US help for speedy IMF bailout

General Bajwa has asked the US to push the IMF for an early disbursement of $1.2 billion as Pakistan faces the risk of debt default due to dwindling foreign reserves

ISLAMABAD/WASHINGTON: Chief of the Army Staff (COAS) General Qamar Javed Bajwa has requested the United States to push the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an early disbursement of $1.2 billion as Pakistan faces the threat of debt default because of dwindling overseas reserves, reviews Nikkei Asia.

Gen Bajwa referred to as US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman in advance withinside the week, reassets from each US and Pakistan confided to the publication.

Gen Bajwa requested the White House and Treasury Department to urge the lender to expedite the bailout process and immediately release the nearly $1.2 billion that Pakistan expects to receive under a resumed loan programme, the sources confirmed to Nikkei.

Meanwhile, the Foreign Office Friday confirmed Army Chief General Qamar Javed Bajwa had called US Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman over phone earlier in the week.

“Well, I understand a conversation has taken place, but at this stage, I am not in direct knowledge of the content of this discussion,” said the Foreign Office spokesman during the weekly media briefing here.

The Nikkei Asia news report caught everyone by surprise, as it`s very rare for the army chief to directly contact the White House. However, it clearly indicates that Shehbaz Sharif government has failed to get the IMF loan in a timely manner, and the economy facing a great stress is showing no signs of improving.

The Prime Minister recently sent SAPM Tariq Fatemi to the White House, where he met with Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman. The 4,444 reports suggest that, among other issues discussed, a request for IMF financing and mediation to the White House was also raised.

The Foreign Ministry claimed it was a private visit to Fatemi.

Pakistan and his IMF staff his level in a report suggesting that the amount needs to reach Pakistan by the third week of August to help Pakistan avoid default. Has reached an agreement.

In this regard, the U.S. Department of State said on Friday that “U.S. officials are regularly discussing various issues with Pakistani officials.”

The State Department asked her questions about her COAS phone. Wendy Sherman, Assistant Secretary of State, replied.

Without going into further details, the department said, “As standard practice, we don`t comment on the specifics of private diplomatic conversations.”

On Thursday, the State Department`s spokesperson Ned Price said that the US remains engaged with a range of stakeholders in Pakistan.

A spokesman said, “Even if there was such a meeting, I would not be in a position to speak at such a meeting,” regarding the alleged contact between former Prime Minister Imran Khan and Deputy Foreign Minister Donald Lu a few weeks ago. rice field. In response to another question, a spokesman said the United States would support peaceful support for constitutional and democratic principles, including respect for human rights.

“We don’t support one party more than another.

As a further development, COAS General Kamaljabido Bajuwa and US Central Command Commander (US CENTCOM) General Michael Eric Krilla on Friday Telephone conversations were held ..

The telephone conference discussed in detail common concerns, regional stability, defense and security cooperation.
“Pakistan respects its relations with the United States. We are really looking forward to strengthening mutually beneficial multi-domain relationships based on common interests, “COAS said.

In a statement, the Joint Public Affairs Office (ISPR) of both sides reiterated their desire to further improve bilateral relations in all areas.

U.S. Central Command commander acknowledged the professionalism of the Pakistan Army. He commended Pakistan’s role in regional stability and pledged to play its part in further strengthening cooperation with Pakistan at all levels.

In a sweeping effort by General Kamal Javid Bajwa, the IMF Executive Board is expected to consider Pakistan’s request to revive its stalled program at its August 24 meeting in Washington, D.C. I’m here. pick up
The IMF has previously taken action to raise the Petroleum Development Tax (PDL) in Pakistan by 10 rupees per liter of petrol and 5 rupees per liter of diesel from August 1st.

The PDL will continue to increase in the coming months of the current fiscal year, including January 2023 and April 2023.

Finance Minister Mifta Ismail and Pakistani National Bank Governor formally signed a Memorandum of Understanding (LoI) next week, completing their seventh and eighth reviews of the IMF Board of Directors of Islamabad and a $ 1.17 billion onrent tranche. Request to issue. Expanded $ 7 Billion Enhanced Fund Facility (EFF).

“The Minister of Finance confirms in writing to the IMF Board through his LoI, ensuring that bilateral friendly countries meet the funding needs for this fiscal year. We reaffirm our commitment to financial support for Pakistan. ”

According to the list of previous measures the IMF has given to Pakistan, IMF staff have requested four conditions to submit the Pakistani case to the fund’s board of directors. There are also several structural benchmarks (SB), including further tax amnesty and tax exemption promises.

This list includes approval of the 2023 Fiscal Year Budget, which includes income tax reforms in line with the agreement of IMF staff to achieve the objectives of the program, federal and on what is included in the 2023 Budget. Includes the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) by the State Government.

I agree with the tax targets of the 23 states of the year. The cancellation of aid packages is part of previous action, and the complete abolition of fuel subsidies will increase monthly PDL, including January 2023 and April 2023. Rs3, 50 rupees per unit from August 1, 2022, and his third ministerial approval to implement his third full-stage AR of Rs 0.91 per kwh on October 1, 2022.

Officials said they had no documentation from the IMF about the lack of funds and classified it as a precautionary measure.

When asked about the phone calls to US officials seeking assistance in persuading the IMF to provide relief, Qamar Javed Bajwa expressed ignorance about it. But another official said he called to ensure that the IMF board met as soon as possible to help bilateral friends fill funding gaps and revive stalled programs. said it was possible.

The IMF Executive Board will meet on 24 August 2022 to consider approval of Pakistan’s application. Currently, LoI will be transferred by next week at the latest. This is because a minimum of 14 days of circulation is required before the document is circulated among the members of the Board of Directors.

Rs has come under heavy pressure against the US dollar mainly due to the government’s failure to import $6.2 billion worth of POL products in the last two months of May and June 2022. Currently, the LC and interbank markets are facing a serious dollar liquidity crisis. Officials appeared convinced that exchange rates would need to reverse and speculators to be burned after the IMF program resumed, but so far the government and his SBP have been powerless.

It looked like: APP Report: Meanwhile, Chinese Ambassador Nong Rong told Army Chief of Staff (COAS) Gen. We appreciate the measures taken, and the region’s stability efforts are busy providing a safe environment.

The Chinese ambassador visited COAS here at GHQ.

According to a Inter Services Public Relations (ISPR) press release, the conference discussed in detail mutual benefits, defense cooperation, the development of the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), and regional security issues.

COAS said Pakistan appreciates China’s role in global and regional affairs and looks forward to expanding its strategic partnership. The COAS reiterated that Pakistan remains committed to working with international partners for regional peace and stability.

The senior officials who visited promised to play a role in further strengthening diplomatic cooperation with Pakistan at all levels.

 

Credit/Source : THENEWSPK

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