IMF delegation in Pakistan to hold talks on bailout package

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ISLAMABAD, April 29: A delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrived in Pakistan today to hold technical discussions for a bailout package to the cash-strapped country, days after Prime Minister Imran Khan met IMF chief Christine Lagarde in China.
Pakistan is seeking $8 billion from the IMF to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country’s economy.
With the generous Chinese assistance, Pakistan has so far received a total of $9.1 billion in financial aid packages from friendly countries during the current fiscal year.
According to adviser and spokesman for the Ministry of Finance Khaqan Najeeb, the IMF team will meet officials of the ministry, the Federal Board of Revenue and the State Bank during its visit.
The two sides will discuss the possibility of a $7 to $8 billion loan for Pakistan, Geo News reported.
“The talks aim to determine the terms and conditions of the three-year programme,” an official at the finance ministry said.
The details of the package will be finalised between the funds team lead by director for the Middle East and Central Asia Ernesto Meris and Finance Secretary Yunus Dhaga.
The talks will continue for about a week, the official said.
Pakistan has already finalised the summary of data on various economic matters as demanded by the IMF, including details about performance of economy in the first nine months of the current fiscal year.
The IMF will also get details about the upcoming budget for 2019-20 which is expected to be announced towards the end of May.
Details about loans from China and the IMF insistence to increase tax-to-GDP ratio to 13.2 per cent were some of the sticking points to finalise the package. (PTI)