China rolls over $2bn deposits

Islamabad, Mar 24 (IANS): China has granted a rollover of $2 billion State Administration of Foreign Exchange (SAFE) deposits to Pakistan for one year, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar confirmed.

It was one of the requirements of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for getting the rollover of Chinese SAFE deposits for meeting external financing needs in order to move towards striking the much-awaited staff-level agreement, The News reported.

There are nine tables under the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) that require to be filled.

One of the tables is related to the Net International Reserves (NIR) as an indicative target, which cannot be fulfilled without incorporating the external financing needs of the programme period till the end of June 2023.

The IMF on Thursday said that there was no requirement under Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme which could interfere with Pakistan's ability to undertake the constitutional activity.

"Decisions regarding the constitutionality, feasibility and timing of the provincial and general elections rest solely with Pakistani institutions," IMF's Resident Chief in Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz told The News.

She said the IMF sets aggregate general government targets (aggregating across federal and provincial government levels) and within these, there is fiscal space to allocate or reprioritise spending and/ or raise additional revenues to ensure constitutional activities could take place as required.

The IMF resident chief's statement came after the Ministry of Finance informed the Election Commission of Pakistan that the country was facing a severe economic crisis and the government did not possess funds to undertake two provincial assembly elections separately within 90 days as directed by the Supreme Court's verdict, The News reported.



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Title: China rolls over $2bn deposits

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