IMF Deal In Jeopardy Due To Caretaker Setup Delay

IMF Deal In Jeopardy Due To Caretaker Setup Delay
With the prospect of an increase in the tenure of the caretaker setup following the clearance of the 7th Population and Housing Census, the risks associated with the short-term $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA) program of the IMF will multiply many-fold, The News reported.

Elections might be delayed for longer than three months as a result of the delimitation exercise that would be conducted when the CCI approves it and notifies the official gazette of the first-ever digital population census.

While the delimitation procedure takes four months, the election process takes an additional two months to complete.

To finish the political transition process under the current conditions, the caretaker regime's term may need to be extended by at least six months.

The updated Circular Debt Management Plan (CDMP), which will be shared with the IMF after receiving approval from the federal cabinet, has been accepted by the Cabinet Committee on Energy (CCOE).

The updated CDMP has been designed with quarterly tariff changes and fuel adjustments being promptly charged to consumers following an increase in the baseline tariff. No sector would get an unintended subsidy.

When a senior government official was called, he stated that the CCOE had given its consent and that the IMF would be informed once the cabinet had given its endorsement.

The official said that they did not miss any significant deadlines and that the updated CDMP would be shared with the IMF shortly when asked if it was intended to be shared with the IMF by the end of July 2023.

It is still unclear how the IMF will react to the updated CDMP's proposed objectives since, if the targets are agreed upon and subsequently implemented, the monster of circular debt will be kept within predetermined bounds for the current fiscal year.

In terms of the IMF, it was planned that the $3 billion SBA program would be completed across the terms of three separate governments.

During the reign of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM)-led government, the initial tranche of $1.2 billion had already been made available. It was anticipated that the first assessment would be conducted using data from various economic sectors collected during the first quarter (July–September), with the potential of the Fund sending a review team to Islamabad during the third week of October.

In December 2023, the IMF Board may consider approving a second tranche of $700 million if all goals are achieved. It was also planned to conduct the second evaluation in February.

In December 2023, the IMF Board may consider approving a second tranche of $700 million if all goals are achieved. Additionally, it was anticipated that the SBA program would be completed in March or April 2024 and that the second review might be conducted in February 2024.

The caretaker government may be responsible for achieving all structural benchmarks, performance criteria, and indicative targets if the caretaker setup's tenure is extended, and the IMF mission may be closely observing the accomplishment of all important goals.

To address Pakistan's vulnerabilities related to the repayment of external loans, the IMF program of SBA must be fully implemented in order for Pakistan to graduate from the current program and subsequently qualify for another medium-term program of the Fund after March or April 2024.