Pakistan to Negotiate New IMF Programme After Budget

The Government of Pakistan will negotiate a new programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) right after the new budget.

According to Geo News, the coalition intends to close the current $6.5 billion bailout programme without completing pending reviews.

The report said, “Completion of both reviews before June 30 seems impossible and the government has decided against seeking an extension,” adding that “Pakistan will desperately need an IMF programme in September as the country needs to pay around $9-11 billion dollars in repayments of external debt by December 2023″.

The economic team has begun work on the new deal which will likely be tougher than the previous programme. If the coalition government fails to conclude the negotiations by the end of its term in August, the caretaker administration would hold talks with the Washington-based lender.

This comes after Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha slammed the IMF for interfering in Pakistan’s internal affairs, arguing that the lender’s mission does not include getting involved with the country’s domestic matters.

She remarked, “If an agreement with the IMF is not achieved, the Ministry of Finance will not close its eyes; there is always a Plan B; our priority is the IMF programme”.

Since November, the government has engaged with the IMF to restart its bailout programme, with financing issues proving detrimental to reaching an agreement. Pertinently, Pakistan has yet to receive the remaining $2.5 billion from the $6.5 billion programme which is set to expire this month.

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