On the margins of the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact in Paris, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif met Kristalina Georgieva, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), with the hope that the lender will approve the monies given under the bailout programme.
“Views were exchanged on ongoing programmes and cooperation between Pakistan and the IMF,” the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) said in a statement.
“The Prime Minister expressed the hope that the funds made available through the IMF’s Extended Fund Facility would be released as soon as possible.” This will support Pakistan’s continued attempts to achieve economic stability while also providing relief to its people.
“Recalling their recent phone call on May 27, 2023, the PM informed Georgieva of Pakistan’s economic outlook.” The Prime Minister presented the government’s plans for economic growth and stability.”
According to the statement, the prime minister emphasised that all prior activities for the 9th Review under the EFF had been completed and that the government was completely committed to meeting its duties as agreed with the IMF.
Meanwhile, the Managing Director of the Washington-based lender provided insight into the continuous evaluation process.
“The meeting provided a useful opportunity to take stock of progress in that context,” the statement stated.
The restart of the IMF programme is critical for the cash-strapped economy, which is in the grip of a balance-of-payments crisis.
The country’s currency reserves are barely enough to pay one month’s worth of imports. The IMF had hoped to release $1.1 billion of the money in November, but it has insisted on a number of criteria being completed before making any more payouts.
Meanwhile, officials in Islamabad are scrambling to secure cash from international and bilateral donors.
On Wednesday, Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar met with US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome and discussed economic ties between Pakistan and the United States, in addition to the IMF loan programme.