The staff level agreement (SLA) between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will only be signed when the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia (KSA) and United Arab Emirates (UAE) confirm financial support.
The staff level agreement will be signed with the IMF as soon as the IMF receives support confirmation from the KSA and UAE, sources told the publication.
The News further stated that the concerns with the IMF will be resolved shortly after Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told diplomats in Islamabad over an Iftar dinner on Sunday.
The review negotiations between the IMF and Pakistan ended on February 9 here in Islamabad, and despite the fact that it has been nearly 46 days, the finance minister declared the next day that virtual negotiations had started and that the staff-level agreement will be signed soon. Nevertheless, although 46 days have passed, it has not yet been secured.
On the issue of cross-fuel subsidy, there have been dissenting views within the Finance Ministry because the timing of the announcement could not be endorsed at all. It remains to be seen how the ministry will satisfy the global lender on the subsidy.
Although bureaucrats from the ministry have fought tooth and nail against the schedule, the government declared it public. The Prime Minister’s Office made the decision.
“We have made it clear that such schemes cannot be implemented in view of the IMF’s known opposition to subsidies. At this point, the revival of the IMF programme is imperative and such schemes would jeopardise the whole process,” officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity told the publication.
They stated that at this moment, they were informed of any developments on the disputed cross-fuel subsidy issue.
How the upcoming 10th and 11th reviews will be conducted would be a concern if the IMF programme is resurrected.
The 10th review was due on February 3 of this year.
Although the 11th review is expected on May 3, it is unclear how both parties will proceed even with the programme’s reactivation.