EconomyPakistan

Pakistan Engages in Final Round of Talks with IMF, Eyes $710M Installment

Pakistan is currently engaged in a crucial final round of talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with the aim of securing the next instalment of $710 million from the $3 billion standby loan programme. The policy-level negotiations for a staff-level agreement will continue until November 15 with key stakeholders — the IMF, the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR), Ministry of Finance, and the State Bank of Pakistan.

Caretaker Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar is leading the policy-level talks. The discussions are focusing on external financing, fiscal deficits, revenues, exchange rate policy, and interest rates. Additionally, the IMF will be briefed on the progress of government institution reforms and the privatisation programme.

Pakistan has met conditions set by the IMF, and comprehensive economic data has been shared during the talks. The success of the economic assessment holds the key to unlocking the next instalment of approximately $710 million as part of the $3 billion loan program. A final approval will be sought from the IMF’s Executive Board, marking a crucial step towards securing financial support.

Out of the $3 billion loan program, Pakistan has already received $1.2 billion, underscoring the importance of ongoing negotiations for the nation’s economic stability. The financial community and policymakers remain attentive to the outcomes of today’s meeting, recognising the broader implications for Pakistan’s fiscal health and the continued partnership with the International Monetary Fund.

The economic team, headed by caretaker Finance Minister Dr Shamshad Akhtar, has briefed the visiting International Monetary Fund (IMF) team about its performance, and assured it of full implementation of the $3 billion loan program. The visiting delegation has asked Pakistan to strictly implement all the targets. Finance Ministry sources said the IMF delegation also appreciated the actions of the economic team.

The Pakistan side committed to meet all the targets set by the IMF. It briefed the visiting mission that almost all targets set for the first quarter of the fiscal year have been met. As per the briefing, the tax collection of the Federal Board of Revenue and the Petroleum Development Levy exceeded their targets. The team further said that the electricity and gas tariff had been increased and reforms were underway to control the circular debt.

Reforms in government institutions were also underway, while the policy of market-based exchange rate was being implemented. The IMF team was told that the Benazir Income Support Program budget had been increased for protection of the poor. It was also informed of the efforts for improving foreign exchange reserves and attract external financing. The government expressed its determination to continue efforts for sustainable economic reforms.

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