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IMF Starts Second Review Of Pakistan’s Standby Arrangement

IMF Starts Second Review Of Pakistan's Standby Arrangement

The second and final review of Pakistan’s $3 billion standby arrangement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) commenced on Thursday, with the IMF delegation led by Nathan Porter, the mission chief for Pakistan, meeting with Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb. The finance ministry issued a press release confirming the start of the review and Aurangzeb’s commitment to collaborating with the IMF on economic reforms for growth and stability.

Discussions between the two sides encompassed various topics, including macroeconomic indicators, fiscal consolidation efforts, structural reforms, energy sector sustainability, and governance of state-owned enterprises. The finance minister expressed gratitude for the IMF’s ongoing support and anticipated productive meetings during the review.

Read more: Pakistan Prepares For IMFs Second Review

Pakistan’s finance ministry stated that the country has met all benchmarks and criteria required for a successful IMF review. Successful completion of the review is expected to unlock a tranche of approximately $1.1 billion. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has instructed his finance team to begin preparations for an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) after the current standby arrangement expires in April.

The IMF has indicated its readiness to develop a medium-term program if Pakistan submits an application. The government has not disclosed the exact amount of additional funding it seeks through a successor program. Talks on the larger, longer-term program are anticipated to occur during the IMF and World Bank’s spring meetings in Washington in April.