Pakistan, IMF start bailout talks

November 13, 2018 - 9:55

TEHRAN _Pakistan is expected to start policy-level meetings with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) over the bailout program to maintain its foreign exchange reserves from Monday, according to reports.

IMF’s senior economist Harald Finger will lead the talks which are scheduled to take place till November 20. Pakistan will be represented by secretary finance, chairman federal board of revenue (FBR) and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Tariq Bajwa along with others.
IMF is expected to review the country’s monetary and fiscal policies as well as its monetary needs during the meetings. Moreover, SBP’s financial independence and FBR’s performance will also be reviewed, reports said.

On November 7, IMF team arrived in Pakistan after the Imran Khan led PTI government had approached them for loans. According to sources, Pakistan is likely to pitch for loans up to $6 billion.

Pakistan is in need of an estimated $12 billion to support its external account sector for the current fiscal year of 2018/19. The country’s foreign reserves have plummeted 42 percent since January to around eight billion dollars, barely sufficient to cover two months of imports, said a report in The News.

Pakistan and the IMF mission, according to the report, will evolve agreement on memorandum of economic and financial policies and then sign of letter of intent to secure a 36-month extended fund facility loan.

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