Govt rebuts news regarding IMF bar on sovereign properties

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The Ministry of Finance has contradicted a news report published in a section of the press claiming that IMF has barred Pakistan from extending sovereign guarantees till December Review.

In a statement, Finance Division has termed the report and its headline as false and contradictory to an official response provided to the newspaper in advance of the published report.

The Ministry has maintained that the concerned reporter who has filed the story had approached the Finance Division Spokesperson Mr. Omar Hamid Khan with a question whatsapped to the latter on why in the reporter’s words the “Finance Ministry is not extending the sovereign guarantees against Rs 200bn loan to be borrowed from Islamic banks to reduce the circular debt”.

In response, Finance Division Spokesperson Mr. Omar Hamid Khan clearly told the reporter in a written reply that “In order to ensure fiscal discipline and debt sustainability, GOP has developed a policy framework which has also been agreed as part of the Extended Fund Facility provided by IMF.

Under this framework, GOP has decided to set a ceiling (equal to 3.6% of GDP) on government guaranteed debt.

The framework is reviewed on a quarterly basis in the light of progress already made, prevailing economic circumstances, and the overall objectives of achieving higher economic growth and debt sustainability.”

However, despite a clear response in no way indicating that the IMF had in any way barred Pakistan from extending sovereign gurrantees, the reporter went ahead and falsely attributed the Finance Division Spokesperson as having confirmed to him that the IMF has barred Pakistan from extending sovereign guarantees till December Review” which is contrary to the facts as shared with him in a written response by the Finance Division.

“Such an irresponsible reporting of even written words and flashing them as headlines is unethical and against the spirit of healthy journalism and such a tendency must be avoided to retain the trust and credibility of readers and state institutions,” said the statement.