Miftah requests IMF to expand program, promises to end subsidy

A Pakistani delegation led by Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has concluded preliminary talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the resumption of the IMF loan program and the two sides have agreed to start technical talks beginning Tuesday.

Miftah Ismail told a press conference at the Pakistan embassy in Washington DC on Sunday that he had requested the IMF to expand its $6 billion loan program for Pakistan by $2 billion and for another year.

The finance minister also announced that the government was going to end the subsidy on petroleum products.

He said that after the technical talks, which begin on Tuesday, an IMF team will visit Pakistan in May and during this visit a staff-level agreement will be signed within 8 days.

Speaking about his plans to end subsidies on petroleum prices, he said that the government was thinking about targeted subsidies, but it won’t subsidize fuel for car owners.

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