Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) may finalize a schedule for formal talks soon to complete the stalled 9th review of the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF).
Sources said that Pakistan and IMF held virtual talks on Tuesday over the 9th review but the first round of virtual talks remained inconclusive.
Sources said that the Pakistani team, under the leadership of Secretary Finance, assured the IMF that it will complete all prior actions. Pakistan has also shared additional information about the budget and other areas with the IMF.
Sources said that Pakistan again asked the IMF to send its mission to Islamabad in a bid to revive the derailed bailout programme, however, the IMF team insisted on first implementing prior actions including a market-based exchange rate, imposition of new taxes to meet Federal Board of Revenue (FBR’s) tax target for the current fiscal year, curtailing the circular debt and putting an end to subsidies.
Sources said that the second round of virtual talks between the IMF and Finance Ministry officials may take place tomorrow where Pakistan will once again try to finalize the date of the lender’s team visit to Islamabad.
Earlier in the day, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan had given a clear message to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) about its desire to complete the 9th review.
“We have given the IMF a clear message that we want to complete the 9th review. We are ready and want to sit down regarding your conditions so that it can be concluded and Pakistan can move forward,” the prime minister said.
On Monday, ProPakistani reported that IMF has turned down Pakistan’s request for sending its team for the completion of the 9th review and has asked the Finance Ministry to first take all prior actions.
Ishaq should accept the conditions and there is nothing to hesitate. Pakistan stability is most important. And leaders know for taking dare decisions. I know they did wrong in the past but they still have time to deliver and correct their mistakes.