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Talks between IMF and Pakistan remain inconclusive as issue of loans linked to increase in petrol prices

Talks between the PML-led government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have remained inconclusive as IMF has linked the resumption of the relief programme to increase in POL products, Bol TV reported on Wednesday.

The Pakistani delegation being headed by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail reportedly utterly failed to convince the IMF to withdraw the demand of increase in petrol prices despite week-long negotiations in Doha, Qatar, from May 18-25.

Bol TV quoting the sources reported that the IMF has not accepted Pakistan’s request for issuing the loans.

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.

Investors are getting nervous. Without a bailout from the International Monetary Fund, Pakistan may default for the second time in its history. As talks with the IMF have born no fruit on Wednesday in Doha, officials acknowledge that winning a loan from the multilateral lender might involve trade-offs, including the politically tough decision of raising fuel prices.

Soaring inflation. With squabbles over fuel prices and a fractious political environment for months, Pakistan has struggled to keep its economy afloat, raising the prospect that one of the world’s most populous nations could soon follow Sri Lanka in a wave of potential global defaults.

Courtesy Bol News

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