Pakistan and IMF resume crucial talks on revival of bailout package

Pakistan and IMF resume crucial talks on revival of bailout package

LAHORE – Talks between the crisis-hit Pakistan and International Monetary Fund will resume virtually on Monday as the two sides eye finalizing a deal to unlock funding critical to keep Pakistan afloat amid economic meltdown.

Islamabad and US-based lender could not reach a deal earlier in February as the visiting IMF delegation left the South Asian nation after 10 days of negotiations, but talks continue.

In upcoming talks, the Pakistani government and IMF will review the draft Memorandum of Economic and Fiscal Policies (MEFP) known as the staff-level agreement.

The government eyes salvaging much-needed funds as financial authorities have been tasked to collect an additional Rs170bn in revenue to bridge the widening gap.

Earlier this month, the country’s finance chief Ishaq Dar said pinned hope to seal Staff Level Agreement with the fund in the coming days.

Under IMF’s stern requisites to guarantee financial help from bilateral lenders, Dar lately announced that the country’s central bank received $500 million from the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China (ICBC).

The ongoing precarious situation in the country of over 220 million is expected to end in the coming months as the country will be receiving $1.3bn from Beijing and another $1.1bn tranche from the IMF.