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IMF disburses $1.2b under Stand-By Arrangement: Shamshad Akhtar

IMF disburses $1.2b under Stand-By Arrangement: Shamshad Akhtar

IMF disburses $1.2b under Stand-By Arrangement: Shamshad Akhtar

IMF disburses $1.2b under Stand-By Arrangement: Shamshad Akhtar

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  • SBA would have two reviews which would be held in Nov 2023 and Mar 2024.
  • The completion of each review would lead to disbursement of remaining amount.
  • She said prices of essential commodities would now gradually come down.
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ISLAMABAD Caretaker Minister for Finance and Revenue Shamshad Akhtar informed the Senate that International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board approved the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) worth $ 3 billion, of which $ 1.2 billion had been disbursed.

Replying to various questions during question hour, she said the duration of the program was 9 months.

The SBA would have two reviews which would be held/completed in November 2023 and March 2024, she added. The minister said the completion of each review would lead to disbursement of the remaining amount. The principal repayment was due within 3.25 years of disbursement in eight equal quarterly installments while the interest rate currently stood at 4.198%, she added.

She said “We have met the target of primary deficit in line with the standby arrangement reached with the IMF,” adding the government had also managed to reduce expenditures. The minister said the prices of essential commodities would now gradually come down as a result of the government effective policies.

To another question, Shamshad Akhtar told that State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) was a body corporate, established under the State Bank of Pakistan Act, 1956 (Act). The oversight of the affairs and functions of the Bank was entrusted to the Board of Directors under the Act, she said.

Moreover, the Board of Directors was empowered, among other things, to make regulations regarding recruitment, compensation and terms of service of employees, she added. She said a total of 1178 employees were working in SBP as on May 29, 2023. Out of total 1101 were regular employees while 77 employees had been appointed on contract basis.

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The NC&BS was defined contributory retirement scheme and employees (around 81%) who were currently serving SBP under this scheme were entitled to contributory provident fund and gratuity while the employees serving on OMS (around 19%) were entitled to pension based on the last drawn salary, as end of service benefits, she said.

The minister said a total budget of Rs 6,818 million had been allocated by the SBP for the fiscal year FY 2022-23 for salaries and benefits of employees.

To a separate question, Shamshad Akhtar said that during last three years, 15 Audit teams visited 65 Missions abroad comprising 8, BPS-19 and 20, BPS-18 officers which incurred Rs 46.419 million total expenditure.

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Responding to a point raised by Senator Mushtaq Ahmed, she said that the government would issue directives to Principal Accounting Officer (PAO) of all ministries to control consumption of electricity, gas and other charges.

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