Pakistan’s Initial IMF Review Appeal Set For Jan 11 Board Meeting

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The International Monetary Fund’s Executive Board is set to consider Pakistan’s first review on January 11, unlocking $700 million under the standby arrangement, according to a statement from the IMF spokesperson on Friday.

Last month, a staff-level agreement was reached under the $3 billion SBA, with approval pending for the second tranche. Delays in the review process were attributed to the IMF team’s efforts to secure re-confirmation from creditors for the $24.9 billion financing needed in the current fiscal year.

Speculation arose that discussions on the second review might commence after general elections and the new government’s takeover. Originally scheduled for February 3, 2024, talks could be pushed to late February or early March if elections take place on February 8, 2024.

The ongoing SBA program is slated to expire on April 14, 2024. IMF Executive Director Bahador Bijani acknowledged economic improvements, expressing optimism for Pakistan’s future at an event in Washington.

Nathan Porter, IMF Mission Chief to Pakistan, commended the government’s commitment to stabilization through the recently concluded staff-level agreement. Pakistan, facing rapid inflation and substantial debt, is considering an additional IMF loan, as noted by Interim Finance Minister Shamshad Akhtar in November.

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