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IMF Aims for Board Meeting on Pakistan Before Program Expiration



IMF Aims for Board Meeting on Pakistan Before Program Expiration

(CTN News) – The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is actively maintaining communication with Pakistan’s authorities to facilitate a board meeting before the expiration of a financing program in late June, as stated by the IMF mission chief for Pakistan.

Staff-Level Agreement Delay Hinders $1.1 Billion Financing for Pakistan

A staff-level agreement is typically a prerequisite for a board meeting to review the program. In the case of Pakistan, this agreement would unlock $1.1 billion in financing, a crucial lifeline for the financially strained South Asian nation, within the framework of a $6.5 billion IMF package.

However, the staff-level agreement has experienced significant delays since November, marking the longest postponement since at least 2008. The absence of progress has raised concerns over Pakistan’s economic stability.

Areas of Focus for IMF Engagement with Pakistan

IMF mission chief Nathan Porter emphasized that the engagement with Pakistan will primarily revolve around three key areas: restoring proper market functioning for foreign exchange, ensuring the passage of a budget for Fiscal Year 2024 in alignment with program objectives, and securing adequate financing.

Restoring foreign exchange market stability is vital for Pakistan’s economic health, while a budget that aligns with program goals will play a significant role in sustaining economic reforms. Adequate financing is crucial to support the country’s fiscal policies and address its pressing financial challenges.

Pakistan’s Finance Minister Expresses Cooperation with IMF

Pakistan’s Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, stated that the country would provide the IMF with the necessary details of its budget. He expressed a desire for the IMF to complete the 9th review before the budget, which is scheduled to be presented in early June, asserting that all conditions for the review have been met.

Minister Dar also opposed the combination of the 9th and 10th reviews, deeming it unfair and declaring that Pakistan would not accept such an arrangement.

Long-Term Policy Efforts and Reforms Key to Pakistan’s Economic Recovery

IMF mission chief Nathan Porter highlighted the importance of sustained policy efforts and reforms for Pakistan to overcome its present economic and financial challenges and regain strong and inclusive private-led growth. These efforts will be critical in revitalizing the country’s economy and fostering stability.

While the IMF refrains from commenting on domestic politics, Porter expressed the hope that Pakistan finds a peaceful way forward following its Constitution and the rule of law, alluding to the country’s political instability.

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