Saturday, July 2, 2022

Majority of PML-N leaders favoured fresh elections: sources

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The majority of Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz (PML-N) leaders have favoured the organisation of fresh elections immediately amid confusion among the coalition partners of the present government, citing sources, ARY News reported on Thursday.

After the rejection of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for giving another tranche of loan to Pakistan, confusion persisted among the coalition partners over the completion of the assembly’s tenure but the majority of the PML-N leaders favoured the immediate organisation of the elections.

Sources told ARY News that the majority of the PML-N leaders adopted a stance that a decision should be made for early elections instead of hiking the prices of the petroleum products, otherwise, it will dent the popularity of the ruling party among the masses. They added that it will be an unpopular decision for the PML-N if it accepts the IMF conditions.

READ: GOVT HIKES PETROL, DIESEL PRICES UP TO RS30 PER LITRE

Sources added that Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is considering a meeting of the coalition partners for making a final decision in which budget recommendations will also be tabled. Sources said that the coalition partners will make a decision regarding the completion of the assemblies’ tenure or fresh elections within two days.

Yesterday, it emerged that the negotiations between the Pakistani government and the International Monetary Fund had concluded, and the IMF subjected the $3 billion economic relief program for Pakistan with the removal of fuel subsidies.

The Pakistani delegation had failed to convince the IMF, as both sides could not reach a staff-level agreement despite week-long negotiations in Doha, Qatar, from May 18-25.

READ: ‘CARETAKER GOVT NOT TO BE FORMED BEFORE AUGUST 2023’

According to sources, IMF has refused to issue loans to Pakistan until they remove all subsidies on fuel prices in the country.  The issue of the $3 billion economic relief program to the Pakistani government has been linked to the removal of subsidies over fuel prices.

Pakistan is looking for the release of $3 billion from the IMF. That amount would augment the nation’s foreign-exchange reserves, which at $10.2 billion covers less than two months of imports. The government is staring at a $45 billion trade deficit this year.

The revival was expected to bring stability to the financial markets, the fast-weakening Pakistani rupee, and the depleting foreign exchange reserves, as the government had pinned hopes on the programme’s resumption.

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