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Pakistan’s new government facing severe economic challenges, aide says -Breaking


© Reuters. As they mark the swearing-in of Shehbaz Sharif as Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s prime Minister, supporters wave flags in Lahore (Pakistan), April 11, 2022. REUTERS/Mohsin Rasa


By Asif Shahzad

ISLAMABAD (Reuters – Pakistan’s government has to manage a crashing economy and huge deficits.

Sharif, 70-year-old Sharif is the younger brother and former premier Nawaz Sharif. He was elected prime minister Monday after a long constitutional crisis following parliament’s ouster of Imran Khan in a vote of no-confidence.

Miftah Ismail stated that Imran Khan left a serious mess. He added that Sharif would resume talks with International Monetary Fund as a priority.

He stated that “we will resume discussions with the IMF.”

Sharif was again concerned by Sharif’s maiden speech before parliament. He referred to record deficits Khan’s government would inherit, and Khan was accused by opposition parties of mismanaging economic affairs.

In his first meeting, Sharif established a National Economic Advisory Council.

Talks between the IMF and creditors have been suspended ahead of the 7th review of a rescue program worth $6 billion, which was agreed upon in July 2019.

According to Pakistan’s central bank, the current account deficit for 2022 is expected at around 4% GDP. Foreign reserves fell to $11.3 Billion as of April 1st, compared to $16.2 Billion a month ago.

Last week, the central bank raised key interest rates 250 basis points, to 12.25%, in an emergency move. This was the largest increase in rate in many decades. It cited a decline in inflation outlook and increased risks to stability. These were exacerbated by tensions between Russia-Ukraine as well as political uncertainty locally.

Inflation forecasts for FY22 were also slightly revised by the bank to slightly exceed 11%, as reported in June.