Pakistan’s Loan Tranche Review Not On IMF Board Agenda Till Mid-Dec

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ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has not included Pakistan’s loan tranche review in its Executive Board meeting agenda scheduled from December 1 to December 15, The Scoop has learnt.

Pakistan is awaiting approval for the first review to access a $700 million tranche under the $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA) program.

The IMF’s scheduling delay is attributed to ongoing efforts by its team to secure re-confirmation from various creditors, impacting the financing requirements of $24.9 billion for the current fiscal year.

Policymakers speculate that IMF discussions on the second review may commence after the general elections and the new government’s takeover. Initially planned for February 3, 2024, discussions may be postponed to late February or early March 2024 if elections are scheduled for February 8, 2024.

The ongoing SBA program is set to expire on April 14, 2024. While the IMF’s Executive Board calendar extends to December 14, 2023, Pakistan has not been included. Despite a Staff Level Agreement reached on November 15, 2023, for the $3 billion SBA program, Islamabad’s request for the completion of the first review and the release of the $700 million tranche remains pending.

If the tranche approval is not included in the board meeting agenda in the coming days, the release may be deferred to January 2024, significantly impacting the country’s ability to secure essential foreign loans in December 2023.

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