Friday, June 30, 2023

IMF agreement likely in the next 24 hours, according to Pakistan's finance minister


LAHORE: Late on Thursday, Pakistan's finance minister said that a staff level agreement for a crucial bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund was "very close," and that it was expected to happen within the next 24 hours.

Under the lender's ninth review of the $6.5 billion Extended Fund Facility agreed upon in 2019, Islamabad is racing against time to unlock at least $1.1 billion. Friday marks the program's final day.

"We are extremely near consenting to a staff level arrangement with the IMF," serve Ishaq Dar told Reuters.

"I think it should come sometime tonight or at the very least within the next 24 hours... We have finished everything."

A delegate for the IMF in Pakistan didn't quickly answer a solicitation for input.

The agreement has been delayed for eight months, and the IMF board must approve it.

Pakistan, which is struggling with a severe balance of payments crisis and decreasing foreign exchange reserves, would benefit from some relief from the funds under consideration. Four billion dollars have already been distributed. Dar had before said the public authority was dealing with a component to attempt to open the full $2.5 billion forthcoming under the IMF program, past the $1.1 billion expected under the 10th survey that is being talked about.

He anticipated that an announcement would be made within the next 24 hours, but it was unclear how much of the funds would be distributed.

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