Tuesday, December 05, 2023
ISLAMABAD: The International Monitory Fund (IMF) has not included Pakistan’s case in its Executive Board meeting agenda for the 1-15 December schedule, The News reported Tuesday.
Pakistan is expecting the approval of the first review to release a second tranche worth $700 million under the $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA) programme.
The IMF has not yet firmed up its exact schedule because the Fund's team was busy securing re-confirmation from all multilateral and bilateral creditors to meet the financing requirements of $24.9 billion for the current fiscal year.
This delay has now surfaced in discussions among the policymakers that the IMF might kick-start parleys on the second review probably after the general elections and takeover by the elected government.
The IMF programme was initially scheduled to kick-start parleys for a second review from Feb 3, 2024, but if the elections were scheduled to be held on February 8, 2024, then the possibility of holding talks might be done in the last week of Feb or early March 2024. The ongoing SBA programme is going to expire on April 14, 2024.
The IMF has released its Executive Board calendar up to December 14, 2023, but Pakistan was not included in this issued calendar so far.
The IMF and Pakistan struck the Staff Level Agreement on November 15, 2023, under the $3 billion SBA programme but so far Islamabad’s request for considering the completion of the first review and release of the second tranche worth $700 million was not yet finalised.
If the approval of the next tranche was not placed on the agenda of the board meeting for the next couple of days then the release of the next tranche would be considered next month (January 2024) so it would have a far-reaching impact on the country’s ability to generate much-needed dollar inflows in the shape of foreign loans during the ongoing month (December 2023).