IMF mission lands in Pakistan for revival of stalled crucial bailout package
ISLAMABAD – The International Monetary Fund mission arrived in Pakistan late Monday to discuss the stalled ninth review of the crucial funding programme, with the country’s economy worsening with each passing day.
Reports in local media suggest that the IMF mission chief for Pakistan Nathan Porter arrived in the capital last night to start the second phase of policy negotiations to finalise a memorandum of economic and financial policies (MEFP).
Islamabad and US-based lender will engage in crucial talk from today as the country of over 220 million is facing a severe acute balance of payments crisis while the coalition government is doing all-out efforts to secure much need funds, with the country’s forex reserves held by central bank are less than one month of imports cover.
Pakistan is eyeing to secure $1.8 billion, which was delayed in the wake of the government's reluctance to accept harsh conditions, however, in recent times the top officials including Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif mentioned that they are ready to agree on stringent conditions placed by the global lender.
The government is desperate to woo the IMF mission as the local currency has plunged to a historic low against the dollar after an exchange cap was lifted.
Amid the crucial talks, the Sharif-led government is expected to announce new policy measures and start upfront implementation, to address a circular debt of over Rs2.5 trillion in the power sector, expenditure cuts, and tax measures.