Pakistan 'keenly looks forward' to IMF approval for 9th review

By
Business Desk
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Paris. — Twitter/@KGeorgieva
Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif with International Monetary Fund Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Paris. — Twitter/@KGeorgieva

  • PM holds "productive" exchange of views with the IMF chief.
  • Says govt fully committed to ongoing Extended Fund Facility.
  • "We are willing to take further steps jointly with the IMF."


After meeting the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) managing director, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan “keenly looks forward” to the lender’s Executive Board's “approval for the 9th review at the earliest”.

“It was a pleasure to meet you and have a productive exchange of views on the IMF's continued engagement with Pakistan,” said PM Shehbaz in response to IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva’s tweet regarding her meeting with him.

The premier assured that the government is fully committed to the ongoing Extended Fund Facility (EFF) that is set to expire this month.

“Though all prior actions for the 9th Review have been completed, we are willing to take further steps jointly with IMF. Pakistan keenly looks forward to IMF Board's approval for the 9th Review at the earliest,” said the PM.

PM Shehbaz met IMF MD earlier today and urged the lender to unlock stalled funds as Pakistan has met all conditions.

The premier held the meeting on the sidelines of the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact being held in Paris in a bid to assure the IMF of the country’s commitment to fulfilling all promises made in this regard.

The two exchanged views on the ongoing programmes and cooperation between Pakistan and the Wasington-based lender.

Recalling their last telephone conversation, the prime minister apprised Georgieva of Pakistan’s economic outlook.

He outlined the steps taken by his government for economic growth and stability, underscoring that all prior actions for the 9th review under the EFF had been completed, and Pakistan was fully committed to fulfilling its obligations as agreed with the fund.

The prime minister expressed the hope that the funds allocated under the EFF would be released as soon as possible. “This would help strengthen Pakistan's ongoing efforts towards economic stabilisation and bring relief to its people.”

In response, Georgieva shared her institution’s perspective on the ongoing review process.

The meeting provided a useful opportunity to take stock of the progress in that context.

Pakistan has barely enough currency reserves to cover one month's imports. It had hoped to have $1.1 billion of the funds released in November — but the IMF has insisted on a number of conditions before it makes any more disbursements.

With time for only one last IMF board review before the end of the $6.5 billion EFF, Pakistan was expected to present a budget in line with programme objectives, restore the proper functioning of the FX market, and close the $6 billion gap ahead of the board review.