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Pakistan not in rush to enter IMF deal: Finance Minister

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar said Pakistan is in no rush to sign a deal with International Monetary Fund (IMF) to resolve its balance-of-payments issue, Radio Pakistan reported.

In an interview with Saudi daily Arab News, the minister said “I have no urgency right now to get into an IMF program. We are in discussions [with the IMF]. When we reach the (outlines) of a program which we believe is in the best interests of Pakistan’s economy, we’ll go ahead and sign that.”

He added that financial assistance from friendly countries would help cushion Pakistan’s economy over the remaining current financial year. “The recent support has resulted in a current account deficit of $6-7 billion less than the previous financial year,” Asad claimed.

Responding to a question regarding reviewing agreements related to the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) program, Asad said it was not off the table.

“The IMF had a lot of questions. The Americans had a lot of questions around CPEC. There are a few other projects in the area of the industrial cooperation framework that is being finalised,” Asad shared.

“So, from government-to-government, which is what the first phase of CPEC was, it will be moving to business-to-business,” the minister continued.

Referring to trade likelihood with India, he ruled out any discussion in this regard before general elections 2019 there [India] and said Pakistan would not take “any kind of unilateral step” when it comes to granting India Most Favoured Nation (MFN) trade status.




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