Pakistan Hopeful For IMF Bailout Decision

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The Pakistani government has expressed hopes a bailout decision from the International Monetary Fund will come in a day or two.

This comes following its Prime Minister’s telephone conversation with the chief of the global lender.

Islamabad has been waiting for a deal after taking policy and fiscal tightening decisions required by the IMF for the disbursal of $1.1 billion under the lender’s ninth review of a $6.5-billion Extended Fund Facility agreed in 2019.

“The prime minister hoped that the consensus over the IMF programme’s points will lead to a decision in a day or two,” the office of the Prime Minister said.

It added that Mr. Sharif spoke to IMF Managing Director, Kristalina Georgieva about the country’s bailout funds, stalled since November.

Report says with the bailout programme set to expire on June 30, Pakistan has also revised its FY24 budget and hiked policy rates to 22% in its desperation to clinch the deal, the key to unlocking other external financings for the cash-strapped nation.

The IMF funds subject to approval by its board promise respite for Pakistan, which is battling its worst economic meltdown, with an acute balance of payments crisis and falling reserves of foreign exchange.

 

REUTERS/Christopher Ojilere