PM Shehbaz Says ‘Self-Reliance' Ultimate Economic Goal

PM Shehbaz Says ‘Self-Reliance' Ultimate Economic Goal
Reacting to Finance Minister Miftah Ismail's revelation that Pakistan will receive $2 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as opposed to the previously established $1 billion, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that ultimate goal for the country is self-reliance.

Addressing the Turn Around Pakistan conference in Islamabad on Tuesday, he said he had received the news from the finance minister just this morning via text.

"Miftah Ismail sent a message this morning saying that Pakistan will receive not $1 billion but $2 billion from the IMF. I told him in response, Alhamdulillah, but our ultimate goal is self-reliance," the PM said.

Earlier in the morning, Miftah Ismail had announced on Twitter that Pakistan had received a Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) from the IMF for the seventh and eighth reviews of the bailout program.

An MEFP contains certain prior actions, or targets, that would be necessary for implementation before the IMF board takes up Pakistan’s case for approval and the subsequent disbursement of the financial package.

Having received the document, the economic team of Pakistan will have three days to analyze and examine the document, after which the finance minister and the State Bank of Pakistan governor will sign it.

The staff-level agreement will then be presented before the IMF’s Executive Board next month for approval, after which the tranches will be released.

The MEFP contains the structural benchmarks and the policy actions that the two parties agreed and signed upon.

During his address, the PM also said that achieving self reliance was 'easier said than done', and a coalition government, although not without its 'plus points', has its fair share of challenges as well.