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Asad Umar refutes resignation rumors


News Desk |

Finance Minister Asad Umar said late Thursday the programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would soon be completed for Pakistan. Addressing an event at the Pakistani embassy in Washington, Umar noted that the basic reforms have already been implemented before the conditions of the IMF programme.

The finance minister, however, trashed the rumors of his resignation, saying he was “not going anywhere”. Whenever he travels abroad without Prime Minister Imran Khan, such speculation becomes rife. The premier, he added, had said Pakistan needed him.

Earlier in the day, Umar had led a delegation of Pakistani officials in meetings with high-level officials of the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the sidelines of the annual Spring Meetings in the US capital.

Separately, the global financial organization released its World Economic Outlook that projected Pakistan’s growth prospects at around 2.5 percent by 2024.

The delegation — comprising State Bank Governor Tariq Bajwa, Finance Secretary Younas Dagha, and Economic Affairs Secretary Noor Ahmed — had discussed various economic and development projects with the World Bank President David Malpass, IMF Executive Director Christine Lagarde, and IMF Deputy Managing Director Tao Zhang, according to embassy officials.

During the meeting, Malpass appreciated Pakistan’s efforts for reforms and assured that the World Bank will continue its assistance.

Umar also met with Hartwig Schafer, the vice president for South Asia at World Bank, and was scheduled to participate in a talk with the assistant secretary and acting assistant secretary of the US Treasury.

Read more: World Bank President appreciates reform process in Pakistan

The finance minister, it was reported, was expected to further deliberate on the terms of a multi-year support funding from the IMF. He also met David Lipton, the first deputy managing director of the IMF, to discuss the ongoing talks between Pakistan and the international lender.

Before leaving Islamabad, Umar had said the talks with the IMF for a funding package was in their final stages. Separately, the global financial organization released its World Economic Outlook that projected Pakistan’s growth prospects at around 2.5 percent by 2024.

While Pakistan has not yet finalized the terms and amount of funding, the IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice had told media outlets earlier this year that the country had already made a formal request for financial assistance.

Read more: Asad Omar says “Economic Crisis is Over”: Is it?

“Where we stand is that IMF staff are continuing discussions with the Pakistani authorities, with our counterparts, toward reaching an understanding on policy priorities, on reforms to stabilize the economy and lay the foundations for sustainable and inclusive growth,” Rice had said.

Research & writing by Sana Mushtaq at the GVS News Desk.

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