Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has expressed hope that a deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) can be finalized during the ongoing month.
“We are still very hopeful that the IMF program will materialize. Our ninth review by the IMF will match all terms and conditions and, hopefully, we’ll have some good news this month,” the premier said in an interview with Turkish News Agency Anadolu.
The prime minister highlighted that Pakistan has met all conditionalities set by the IMF. “I repeat, each and every requirement of the IMF as prior actions have been met,” the premier said.
He said that some of the actions are usually met after the approval of the board but this time the lender required that those actions should also be met before the board’s approval and the country has met them as well.
Asked about contingency plans in case the talks with IMF fail, the prime minister emphasized the “resilience and fortitude” of the Pakistani nation. He said the people of Pakistan have faced challenges in the past, and if needed, will “tighten our belt” and rise again.
The country has been negotiating with the IMF since early February for the release of $1.1 billion, part of a $6.5 billion bailout package inked by the previous government in 2019. However, despite the passage of almost four months since the last staff-level mission to Pakistan, the staff-level agreement has still not been signed.