IMF team to visit Pakistan for first review talks on Nov 2

  • IMF Mission Chief to Pakistan Nathan Porter will lead delegation.
  • Finance ministry has started preparations for talks with IMF.
  • Ministry met to get updates on all structural benchmarks, criteria.

An International Monetary Fund (IMF) delegation is scheduled to visit Pakistan for talks regarding the initial assessment of the country’s $3 billion standby arrangement (SBA) on November 2.

The finance ministry, too, has started preparing for the upcoming talks with the global lending institution.

The development was confirmed by the IMF’s resident representative, Esther Perez Ruiz, as the cash-strapped nation, currently functioning under a caretaker administration, endeavours to steer towards economic revival after the IMF approved its loan programme in July this year.

The loan programme averted a sovereign debt default with Pakistan receiving its first $1.2 billion tranche from the Washington-based lender soon after the approval.

“An International Monetary Fund team led by Mr Nathan Porter will field a mission to Pakistan starting in November 2 on the first review under the current Stand-By Arrangement,” Ruiz told Reuters.

Meanwhile, the finance secretary has convened an important meeting of all ministries, divisions, and departments for tomorrow (Thursday) to get an update on all structural benchmarks, indicative criteria and performance criteria agreed with the IMF for the end of September 2023.

As per The News, the finance ministry has made all-out efforts to restrict the budget deficit target within limits agreed with the lender.

It had warned the provinces to trip down spending, and the latest provisional estimates suggest that Punjab and Sindh had made significant progress on it.

Another challenge for restricting the overall fiscal deficit is the rising debt servicing requirements that would, of course, balloon and stand beyond Rs8.3 trillion to Rs8.5 trillion for the current fiscal year 2023–24 against the initially envisaged target of Rs7.3 trillion in the wake of surged policy rate of the central bank.

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