IMF has announced that their delegation is coming to Pakistan on November 2 to discuss the first review of Pakistan’s existing $3 billion standby arrangement (SBA).
Back in July, Pakistan received a loan package from the IMF to prevent a sovereign debt default. The country is now working towards economic recovery under a caretaker government. In July, Pakistan got $1.2 billion as the first payment of the IMF program.
The IMF’s resident representative in Pakistan, Esther Perez Ruiz, said that “On November 2, an International Monetary Fund delegation led by Nathan Porter will begin a mission to Pakistan to conduct the first review under the current stand-by arrangement.”
This visit comes at a time when there are rumors that the caretaker government is moving forward with a plan concerning PIA, the national flag carrier, and the IMF is exerting pressure on Pakistan to privatize state-owned companies that are incurring losses.
Read More: Fuel Crisis Forces PIA to Cancel 27 Flights
Before the upcoming review, which will determine when the second installment of the $3 billion agreement will be released, the Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has approved a significant increase in the gas tariff. This increase is in response to one of the primary requirements set by the IMF.
The monthly rates for protected users, who make up 57% of domestic consumers, have increased substantially, even though the actual gas prices have not changed. Starting from November 1, non-protected consumers will also be affected by changes in the gas tariff, resulting in a 194 percent increase in their monthly expenses.
Simultaneously, non-protected users are now required to pay higher fixed monthly fees, with increases for different categories. The government has raised local gas tariffs for commercial use by 136.4 percent, for export by 86.4 percent, and for non-export use by 117 percent.
Read More: Gas Prices Expected to Surge By Up to 193%