IMF makes yet another demand from Pakistan government

IMF makes yet another demand from Pakistan government

The International Monetary Fund has urged Pakistan to bring its current account deficit under control, an official said, as the country's new government seeks an increase in the size and duration of the current IMF programme.

Pakistan's current account deficit ballooned to $13.2 billion in the nine months of its fiscal year from a gap of $275 million a year earlier on the back of soaring oil import costs, official data showed.

Rating agency Moody's expects the deficit to widen to 5-6% of the gross domestic product in the current fiscal year ending June 30, up from its earlier 4% projection, putting greater pressure on Pakistan's foreign reserves.

Jihad Azour, director of IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, told Reuters the fund's team will assess the policy priorities of the new government and the economic impact in the context of the war in Ukraine.

“But of course, we have been over the last few months highlighting the importance of maintaining the current account situation under control reduce the current account deficit.”

He did not elaborate on the policy actions, but the IMF has said earlier a continued commitment to a market-determined exchange rate and a prudent macroeconomic policy mix will help reduce the deficit.