Miftah said the IMF would be approached for help with the balance of payments

Finance adviser in-waiting Miftah Ismail said on Tuesday that the new government would restart negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for balance of payments support, accusing the PTI government of leaving behind an unprecedented economic mess, including the highest-ever fiscal deficit of Rs6.4 trillion (slightly more than 10% of GDP).

“Stabilisation of declining foreign exchange reserves and increasing them is the most important thing,” he said. “Taking the IMF programme forward with mutual understanding is important.”

In reply to a question, he said that “we will take the existing programme forward and complete its three reviews”, which involve about $3 billion in outstanding disbursement, by September.

He was addressing at a hurriedly convened news conference alongside Senator Musaddiq Malik, the former caretaker energy minister, and former Sindh governor Muhammad Zubair.

Mr Miftah said that because of the baggage left by the PTI government, all problems would take time to resolve, but that prices for wheat flour and sugar will be reduced down quickly with the help of provincial governments.

He stated that the current account deficit (CAD) for the current fiscal year is expected to be $20 billion, the largest level ever. It meant Pakistan would have to pay $6 billion in Canadian dollars on top of around $3 billion in debt repayments in the remaining months of the fiscal year. The funding requirements for next year are expected to be $30 billion.