Finance Division issues rebuttal regarding a news item on external financing

Islamabad: 20th September, 2023 (Online): All budget figures for FY2023-24 were shared with IMF while reaching the SBA agreement at end-June 2023.

Ministry of Finance works in close collaboration with the IMF and monitors progress on all actions under the IMF SBA including fiscal and reserve targets.

The news item published in the Express Tribune on September 20, 2023 titled “USD 4.5 billion external financing shortfall may rankle IMF” misrepresents Pakistan’s external financing requirements and interest payments for FY2023-24.

Separately, Economic Affairs Division and development partners hold periodic portfolio reviews to monitor inflows from multilateral and bilateral sources.

Ministry of Finance is also liaising with commercial banks on a regular basis and expects to conclude transactions under negotiation soon.

The Government remains committed to maintaining fiscal discipline throughout the course of the current fiscal year. It is being ensured that budget for FY2023-24 is strictly adhered to and that all expenditures remain in line with commitments. To this end, Finance Division remains engaged with all Ministries / Divisions as well as provincial governments to meet general government targets. Finance Division undertakes a review of the fiscal position frequently to ensure fiscal stability.

The news item’s reference to a potential overshoot in the government’s interest expenditure on account of declining foreign inflows or persistently high policy rate depicts a limited understanding of fiscal variables. The Government remains on track to achieve its primary balance targets and to successfully conclude the upcoming review with the IMF.
Finance Division expects that news reporting on economic issues of national importance should be responsible and not based on limited information.