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Bailout not tied to elections: IMF official

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ISLAMABAD: On Thursday, the International Monetary Fund (IMF) said that there was no requirement under Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme which could interfere with Pakistan’s ability to undertake the constitutional activity.
“Decisions regarding the constitutionality, feasibility and timing of the provincial and general elections rest solely with Pakistani institutions,” IMF’s Resident Chief in Pakistan Esther Perez Ruiz told The News on Thursday.
She said the IMF sets aggregate general government targets (aggregating across federal and provincial government levels) and within these, there is fiscal space to allocate or reprioritise spending and/ or raise additional revenues to ensure constitutional activities could take place as required. The IMF resident chief’s statement came after the Ministry of Finance informed the Election Commission of Pakistan that the country was facing a severe economic crisis and the government did not possess funds to undertake two provincial assembly elections separately within 90 days as directed by the Supreme Court’s verdict.

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