IMF mission likely to visit Pakistan this month as ‘floundering’ economy needs stimulus

A delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to visit Pakistan in late January as the floundering economy of the South Asian country looks to the global lender for revival of the loan programme.

Reports citing sources at the Ministry of Finance said the IMF would share the schedule of his mission’s visit to the country next week. The officials of the international lender are expected to hold meetings with the officials of ministries of finance, trade, power and industries. They would also visit the provincial capitals to review the economic situation.

The IMF mission, during his visit, would outline recommendations about ninth review the ninth review for the release of next tranche of loan pending since September last. The global lender would take a decision for releasing the funds in light of the recommendations.

It emerged a day earlier that Secretary Finance Hamed Yaqoob Shaikh has formally written to the IMF mission chief to visit Pakistan next week in a last resort to restart the much-needed loan programme.

The government, as per reports, has expressed willingness to implement on the four major conditions of the global lender for the revival of the loan programme as the foreign exchange reserves of the South Asian country continues to deplete, putting country’s essential imports at risk and triggering a new wave of inflation.

The four major demands made by the IMF to revive the programme, include increase in gas and electricity prices, market-based exchange rate and additional taxes to cover the fiscal deficit.

An official told media that the government had completed working to implement the four IMF demands conveyed by the Fund officials in a meeting on the sidelines of the Geneva moot.

Another official said Pakistan was not in position to afford the failure in talks with the global lender as it could adversely affect the country.

The IMF approved seventh and eighth reviews together in August last and released more than $1.1 billion.

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