Country does need new IMF programme: PM


ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet has abolished the National Commission for Child Welfare and Development (NCCWD), the National Child Protection Centre (NCPC) and the implementation of the National Line of Action and decided to include employees of these departments in the surplus pool.

While speaking to the participants of the meeting, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also highlighted the importance of a new International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme for the revival of the economy. The finance minister is leaving for Washington to attend the World Bank and the IMF spring meetings where he would also hold talks on a new programme.

The federal cabinet has taken the decision to abolish these departments on the recommendation of the Ministry of Human Rights whose subordinate these departments were. The meeting decided that all the employees of these institutions who are civil servants would be included in the surplus pool.

Govt quite clear about what it seeks from IMF

The cabinet was informed that the National Commission on the Rights of Child Act, 2017, the National Commission on the Rights of Child has been established; therefore, these institutions have become unnecessary because all the work related to these institutions is done by this commission. The government has decided to abolish these departments in view of the austerity policy of the government.

The federal cabinet also approved presenting the “Fiscal Policy Statement and Debt Policy Statement for the financial year 2022-23 and the Year End Government Performance Monitoring Report” to the National Assembly.

On the recommendation of the Foreign Affairs Division, the federal cabinet has allowed Chief of Naval Staff Admiral Muhammad Amjad Khan Niazi to receive “King Abdul Aziz Medal Badge of Honour of Excellent Class” on behalf of the Saudi government and “Darjah Kepahlawanan Angkatan (Tentera)” from Malaysia. The federal cabinet has approved the appointment of members of the National Commission for the Status of Women on the recommendation of the Human Rights Division.

Earlier, the prime minister speaking at the meeting said that the economy is stabilising with improvement in economic indicators and inflation is gradually decreasing. He added that the government’s priority is to remove poverty and unemployment.

The prime minister said that the hiring of the experts regarding digitisation of the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) would be done in the ongoing month and the government would ensure privatisation of Pakistan International Airlines as per the timeline and strategy has been finalised for the outsourcing of the airports.

He said that a Turkish team would be arriving in Islamabad on April 6, 2024 in this regard. He said that initially, only Islamabad was considered for outsourcing and would also decide about the way forward for Karachi and Lahore airports.

He added that full security would be provided to the Chinese citizens in Pakistan and soon a comprehensive and foolproof strategy would be devised in collaboration with the provinces in this regard.

Shehbaz Sharif further stated hopefully, Pakistan would get the last tranche of the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) $1.1 billion after the IMF Board’s approval this month.

He said that another IMF programme is inevitable for the country’s economic improvement and for giving confidence to the international institutions. He said of course the IMF terms and conditions of the new programme would not be easy but the government’s efforts would be to put burden on those who can bear the burden.

The premier also briefly touched on the issue of suspicious letters that were sent to the judges and promised a probe.

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