Loan Negotiations Resumed After Govt Complies with IMF Demands

An IMF delegation will travel to Pakistan later this month to discuss the ninth review of the nation’s ongoing loan programme, which has stalled, the lender’s resident representative announced on Thursday.

To continue the negotiations under the ninth EFF review, an in-person Fund mission is slated to visit Islamabad from January 31 through February 9 at the invitation of the authorities, according to a message from Esther Ruiz Perez to Reuters.

The incident occurred a day after Pakistan informed the US that it remained committed to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme. Pakistan’s reserves have dropped to barely enough to cover a half-worth month’s of imports after paying a fresh $500 million loan repayment.

According to a formal statement from the Ministry of Finance, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar met Robert Kaproth, Deputy Assistant Secretary of the US Department of the Treasury for Asia.

The status of the IMF programme was discussed by both parties at the meeting. Dar informed the US official about Pakistan’s efforts to reactivate the IMF programme.

Pakistan has been requested by the IMF to create a market-based currency rate, remove import restrictions, raise taxes, and raise power rates.

However, the administration has not yet implemented any of these steps and is holding off until there has been a formal interaction with the international lender.

Pakistan signed up for a $7 billion IMF programme in 2019, which was earlier boosted to $6 billion. The 9th review of the programme is still ongoing, and distant negotiations between IMF representatives and the government are taking place to release $1.18 billion.

On November 18, Pakistan and the IMF had a round of negotiations but were unable to agree on a timetable for formal discussions on the past due ninth review. The meetings, which were initially scheduled for the final week of October, were moved to November 3 and then continued to experience delays due to discrepancies in the two parties’ estimations.

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