IMF wants Pakistan board meeting before existing program expires 2023

Ordinarily, a board meeting on a program review would require a prior staff-level agreement, which in Pakistan’s case would release $1.1 billion in financing as part of a $6.5 billion IMF package.

Since November, the staff-level agreement has been delayed, and more than 100 days have passed since the last staff-level mission to Pakistan, which is the longest postponement since at least 2008.

“This engagement will focus on the restoration of proper foreign exchange market functioning, the passage of an FY24 budget consistent with programmed goals, and adequate financing,” said IMF mission chief Nathan Porter.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar stated on Sunday that Pakistan will share its budget information with the fund. He added that he would like the IMF to complete its ninth evaluation before the budget is presented at the beginning of June, as all the necessary conditions have already been met.

Before Pakistan’s current program ends, the IMF hopes to have a board meeting on the country.

In an interview with Geo TV, Dar stated, “They’ve asked for a few more things, and we’re prepared to provide them. They’ve asked for budget information, and we’ll provide it.”

It would not work for Pakistan, he said, if the IMF combined the ninth and tenth reviews of the bailout, adding, “We will not do this because we believe it is unfair.”

In general, Porter stated that “overcoming the present economic and financial challenges would require sustained policy efforts and reforms for Pakistan to regain strong and inclusive private-led growth.”

In reference to Pakistan’s political instability, while the IMF does not comment on domestic politics, Porter stated that it wishes “a peaceful way forward is found in accordance with the Constitution and the rule of law.”

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