Pakistan halves proposed fuel price increase

March 4, 2011 07:15

ISLAMABAD - Pakistan will halve a 9.9 percent fuel price increase proposed this week, the country's finance minister said on Thursday, in an apparent concession to a party key to maintaining the governing coalition.

The price hike will instead be almost five percent, a figure likely to disappoint the International Monetary Fund which has been pressing Pakistan to raise taxes and end subsidies as part of a package of fiscal reforms.

Implementing these reforms is a condition for the IMF to disburse an $11 billion IMF bailout program to Pakistan.

"This has been decided and we will formally notify it after getting approval from the prime minister," Finance Minister Hafiz Shaikh told reporters after meeting representatives of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement, one of the biggest parties in the coalition government.

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