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Pakistan And IMF Loan Talks Inconclusive

Pakistan And IMF Loan Talks Inconclusive

The initial discussions between Pakistani authorities and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have concluded without a clear outcome, potentially leading to an extension of the ongoing negotiations.

Sources indicate that on Tuesday, both the IMF delegation and Pakistani officials will engage in brief discussions regarding Pakistan’s new loan program. Specifically, they will focus on the Letter of Intent during these talks, with plans to progress towards reaching an agreement afterward. Additionally, Pakistan intends to host a dinner for the visiting IMF delegation on the same day.

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The IMF mission commenced its meetings with Pakistani officials last week to conduct the final review of the $3 billion short-term financing program. Economic analysts anticipate that Islamabad will successfully pass the review, having largely met the performance targets established by the IMF.

Led by Nathan Porter, the IMF’s assistant director of the Central Asia and Middle East department, the mission arrived in Islamabad and engaged in discussions with Pakistani officials from various sectors, including finance, energy, and the Federal Board of Revenue.

Pakistani officials, including Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb and Energy Minister Musadik Malik, briefed the IMF team on the measures implemented to adhere to the lender’s reforms, such as increasing energy tariffs. The IMF mission acknowledged Pakistan’s efforts in meeting quarterly program targets under the Stand-by Agreement.

Simultaneously, Pakistani authorities are devising a plan to outline the framework of the next, presumably longer, program. It is anticipated that the size of the next program under consideration will be approximately $8 billion. Minister Malik also shared the government’s energy reform agenda with the IMF team, highlighting the recent increases in petrol, diesel, and gas prices to meet key IMF conditions.