Pakistan

Miftah Ismail departs for Washington to renegotiate IMF programme

The newly appointed Finance Minister Miftah Ismail departed for Washington on Wednesday seeking the revival of the $6 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme signed by the PTI government.In May 2019, Pakistan and the IMF reached a staff-level agreement on economic policies for a three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Under the agreement, Pakistan was to receive about $6 billion during a period of 39 months, and so far it has received almost half it.

Pakistan is waiting for the IMF to resume talks on its seventh review of the facility which was put on hold due to the political crisis in the country.

If the review is approved, the IMF will release over $900 million and unlock other external funding. With a yawning current account deficit and foreign reserves falling to as low as $10.8 billion, the country is in dire need of external finances.

The new government faces a tough task to satisfy the IMF as the subsidies announced by the previous government have worsened the financial situation.

In the wee hours of Thursday, Miftah Ismail left for Washington to hold talks with the IMF.

“I am off to Washington DC to try and put back on track our IMF programme that PTI and [Imran Khan] derailed, this endangering our economy,” the finance minister tweeted.

“And more happily, after [three] years of being on ECL, I will get to travel to London on the way and meet my leader Mian Nawaz Sharif,” he said.

 




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