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Friday Dec 07 2018

Pakistani officials, IMF agree to continue talks during video conference

ISLAMABAD: In a video conference between Pakistani officials and members of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday, the two sides agreed to continue talks.

According to sources, Finance Minister Asad Umar and finance secretary represented Pakistani during the video call and informed the monetary watchdog about the implementations of demands made by them.

The Pakistani authorities have elected the stance that they will take the monetary watchdog’s aid package under acceptable terms. They will under any circumstances, not accept any package that will damage the country’s economy and progress.

Sources added, Pakistan has received a positive response from IMF and further talks are expected between the two sides.

In a recent interview, Umar told Bloomberg that Pakistan was not in a hurry for a package from the IMF.

“We still want to have the program,” Umar said. “But we’re not in hurry to have it. It’ll ease and open up funding avenues.”

The Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government had decided to approach the IMF to bridge the $12 billion financial gap caused by a balance of payments crisis. Pakistan has already received $1 billion from a total of $3 billion pledged by Saudi Arabia to overcome the crisis.

Pakistan and the IMF have been unable to reach a staff-level agreement over the pace of adjustments and conditions during discussions held in November. According to reports, Pakistan has refused to demands of sharing full details of the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), tightening monetary and fiscal policies.

The finance minister added that Pakistan’s request would be taken by the IMF in time for January meeting of its executive board.