imfGovt to formally seek IMF bailout today

ISLAMABAD: The government and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday entered into policy level talks over a new bailout package under an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Pakistan’s balance of payment support to repay international liabilities over the next three years.

“We will be able to negotiate a fresh (IMF) programme at our terms Insha Allah. A formal request for a new IMF programme will be made on Saturday through a letter of intent (LoI)”, said a senior government official who attended the talks.

He told Dawn that the two sides had completed technical level discussions with all the stakeholders including finance ministry, Federal Board of Revenue and State Bank of Pakistan on post-programme monitoring of the previous IMF loan.

The two sides also exchanged their assessment of the country’s latest economic and fiscal situation and future outlook on the basis of policy measures introduced through the federal budget approved by the national assembly on Thursday.

“Today we have started policy level discussions and the talks (on a new programme) are on track”, said the official. Pakistani side was led by Secretary Finance Dr Waqar Masood Khan and comprised senior representatives of the FBR and the central bank while the other side was led by IMF’s mission chief Jaffrey Franks.

The official said the policy level talks would continue until July 2. “We have not faced any hurdle so far”, said the official when asked about some reports in media that talks had been suspended or facing deadlock.

Responding to a question, the official said that Finance Minister Ishaq Dar would join the policy level talks on Sunday that would lead to wrapping of the about two-week long discussions. He said various aspects of the economic situation and fresh terms and conditions of the programme were being deliberated upon.

The IMF mission is expected to return to Washington on July 3 and submit its assessment to the fund executive board.

 

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