Pak Rupee loses ground against dollar in interbank market

KARACHI: Amid talks with International Monetary Fund (IMF) to complete the pending ninth review under the USD 7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF), Pakistani Rupee lost its ground against the dollar in the interbank market on Thursday, reported Geo News.

During intraday trade, the rupee depreciated by Rs 1.17 and was trading at Rs 270. The rupee had closed at Rs 268.83 on Wednesday.
Capital market expert Saad Ali told Geo News that reports regarding the rejection of the circular debt management plan (CDMP) presented by the government to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had dented the market’s confidence.

Ali said that these reports created doubts about the possibility of a bottleneck in the ongoing government-IMF talks, reported Geo News.

Meanwhile, IMF rejected Pakistan’s revised Circular Debt Management Plan (CDMP).

It has called on the Pakistan government to increase the electricity tariff in the range of Pakistani Rupees (PKR) 11-12.50 per unit to restrict the additional subsidy at PKR 335 billion for the current fiscal year, The News International reported.

Circular debt occurs when one entity facing problems with its cash inflows does not make payments to its suppliers and creditors, according to The News International.

The IMF has called the revised CDMP “unrealistic”, which is made on the basis of certain wrong assumptions. The Pakistan government will have to make changes in its policy prescription to restrict the losses of the power sector, as per The News International report.

The IMF and Pakistan’s Ministry of Defence will work out a gap on the fiscal front after which various additional taxation measures will be finalised through the upcoming mini-budget. The revised CDMP has called for an increase in the circular debt to the tune of Rs 952 billion for the current fiscal year against an earlier projection of Rs 1,526 billion. The Pakistan government shared its revised CDMP with the IMF high-ups here on Wednesday.

The Pakistan government’s revised CDMP demonstrated that the government needed an additional subsidy of Rs 675 billion despite increasing the power tariff in the range of PKR 7 per unit through quarterly tariff adjustment in the first two quarters of 2023 and PKR 1.64 for the third quarter from June to August.

“The IMF has opposed the certain basis of the revised CDMP and asks the government to raise the tariff in the range of Rs 11 to Rs 12.50 per unit, so that the requirement of additional subsidy could be reduced to half from its existing levels of Rs 675 billion for the current fiscal year,” The News International quoted top official sources as saying.

Furthermore, the IMF has raised questions on how the Pakistan government calculated its additional subsidy requirement figure of Rs 675 billion for the current fiscal year, according to The News International report. The revised CDMP envisages restricting losses of DISCOs to 16.27 per cent on average during the current fiscal year.

According to the report, the Pakistan government has envisaged the target to recover Fuel Price Adjustment (FPA) charges deferred last summer to fetch Rs 20 billion against estimates of Rs 65 billion made last summer, as per the news report.

The markup saving due to IPPs stock payment will bring PKR 11 billion and the GST as well as other taxes on a collection basis will help recover PKR 18 billion in the current fiscal year, according to The News International The circular debt is estimated to be around PKR 2,113 billion until the end of Fiscal Year 2023, including the amount parked in the Power Holding Limited (PHL). (ANI)

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