Pakistan has shelved plans to privatise its power supply companies and will miss deadlines to sell other loss-making state firms, reneging on promises Islamabad had made to the IMF in return for a $6.7 billion bailout three years ago.
Two government officials with direct knowledge of the situation said International Monetary Fund officials meeting with Pakistani officials in Dubai this week were angered by the backtracking, but they expected the IMF would still release the remaining $1.6 billion to be disbursed.
“It was embarrassing and brutal,” a senior Pakistani official present at the meeting in Dubai, told Reuters, describing the IMF’s response when mission head Harald Finger was told that the government had decided not to sell nine power distribution companies because of fear of labour unrest.
“It was nothing less than a dressing down. If the IMF still doesn’t penalize us, then all I can say is, ‘We’re very lucky,'” the official said.
The other source, a senior finance ministry official who was also in Dubai, confirmed the account.
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