The phone call was conducted four days before the prime minister and IMF chief was scheduled to meet in person at the Geneva Conference to discuss securing concessions from the international lender.
The IMF managing director was encouraged by the prime minister to examine the requirement for the installation of additional levies. To make up for the yearly circular debt management plan’s deviation of about Rs. 500 billion, he also asked for a waiver of the need for price increases on energy.
These continue to be the key obstacles to coming to a preliminary agreement for an IMF staff visit to Pakistan. However, they said, “the government was prepared to slap a flood tax and a windfall income tax on commercial banks.”
The Pakistani side has made a commitment to raise energy rates in the future to counteract any additional departure. It was unclear right away whether the IMF MD had made any compromises.
Pakistan’s gross official foreign exchange reserves fell to $5.6 billion. The prime minister’s call to the IMF’s chairman suggests that the finance ministry has been unable to break the impasse for more than three months.