Pakistan’s Minister of State for Petroleum, Musadik Malik, has stated the government is committed to addressing the International Monetary Fund (IMF) concerns regarding the recently-announced petroleum subsidy scheme. The government’s plan was to charge a higher price to rich customers for natural gas and a lower price for the poor, effectively subsidising them. Its proposal was to do the same to the petrol sector. Malik said the government remains open to discussing the IMF’s reservations and addressing its concerns. Pakistan is currently engaging with the IMF to resume its bailout programme, which has been stalled since November 2019. The government has taken various measures, including floating the exchange rate, increasing taxes and energy tariffs, to convince the IMF to resume the bailout. Malik stated the government had ceased the flow of circular debt but acknowledged the country’s high inflation rate. He expressed confidence in restructuring the economy, despite the economic difficulties when the government took over. Finally, Malik said he expects elections to take place towards the end of the current year.
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