Current AffairsPakistan

PM Shehbaz affirms govt resolve to complete IMF terms

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Saturday affirmed the incumbent government’s resolve to complete the terms of the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) programme, in a conversation with the IMF chief. 

Taking to his official Twitter handle, the premier announced that during a telephonic conversation with the IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva he informed her of his “government’s resolve to complete the terms of IMF’s program,”

“I also explained Pakistan’s economic difficulties, especially after the devastating floods,” PM Shehbaz said, adding that an IMF delegation would soon visit Pakistan. 

Earlier, the premier requested the IMF managing director to immediately send over a team to the country to start review negotiations for the next tranche of its loan.

While speaking at the inauguration of Hazara Electric Supply Company (HAZECO) in Islamabad, the premier confirmed a story of The Express Tribune that he held a conversation with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Thursday.

“I asked her to send an IMF team for the completion of the pending 9th review of the programme so that the next loan tranche is released,” he told the gathering while referring to his telephonic conversation with Georgieva a day earlier.

Read PM steps in to break deadlock with IMF

“She assured that the mission will visit [Pakistan] in the next two to three days.”

However, the finance ministry sources said no dates for the IMF review mission had been finalised yet.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar would leave for Geneva along with PM Shehbaz and meet IMF officials on the sidelines of a conference there. The conference has now been lowered to a climate resilience event from a donors’ conference because of a lack of interest by major players.

The premier’s direct intervention in the IMF programme talks suggests that the matters have slipped out of the hands of the finance ministry.

The 9th review talks have been pending since October last year, resulting in the withholding of a $1.1 billion loan tranche. Pakistan is keen to complete the 9th review so that the World Bank and Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank (AIIB) may also release their loans.

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