Pakistan, IMF mention progress in bailout talks

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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan said on Wednesday that progress had been made in talks of Pakistan bailout programme. Pakistan is expecting IMF to increase the size and duration of 39-month USD 6 billion facility

Pakistan’s economy is teetering on the brink of a financial crisis. Foreign exchange reserves of the country are drying up fast. Pakistani rupee is at record low against th US dollar.

“Discussions between the IMF staff and the authorities on policies to strengthen macroeconomic stability in the coming year continue, and important progress has been made over the FY23 budget,” Esther Perez Ruiz, the IMF`s resident representative in Islamabad, told Reuters.

This month, Pakistan unveiled a 9.5 trillion Pakistani rupees (USD 47 billion) budget for the year 2022-23. The budget was aimed at tight fiscal consolidation in a bid to convince the IMF to restart much-needed bailout payments.

However, the lender later said additional measures were needed to bring Pakistan`s budget in line with the key objectives of the IMF programme.

Also Read | Pakistan’s planning minister says corruption does not impede economic development

The two sides held talks on Tuesday night and agreed on the budget and fiscal measures but still need to agree on a set of monetary targets, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said.

He did not expect any “hiccups” in the remaining talks and expected an initial memorandum on macroeconomic and financial targets and then an official agreement.

“I am also expecting that the duration of the program will be extended by a year and the amount of loan will be augmented,” he told Reuters, adding that the 

The IMF has not committed to it but on the basis of talks, he said he expected the bailout to come through.

(With inputs from agencies)

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