IMF delegation arrives in Pakistan for bailout talks

ISLAMABAD – A delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) arrived in Islamabad today (Wednesday) for talks on a bailout package on the request of the government.

IMF’s technical team will hold talks with Pakistani officials. Pakistan will inform the money watchdog about the country’s economic needs.

Finance Minister of Pakistan, Asad Umar and heads of the Finance Bureau of Revenue and State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) will attend the meetings.

The delegation will be in the country for two weeks.
Earlier, IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice had said the fund’s executive board will be sent for talks on a staff-level agreement.

Pakistan had formally approached IMF in October for loans.

Last month, IMF chief Christine Lagarde had said that she met with Umar, SBP Governor Tariq Bajwa and members of their economic team during which Pakistan formally requested for financial assistance. “During the meeting, they requested financial assistance from the IMF to help address Pakistan’s economic challenges,” Lagarde said in a statement.

The PTI led government has decided to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout to address the mounting balance of payments crisis faced by the South Asian country, Finance Minister Asad Umar had announced.
In a video message, the minister disclosed that Prime Minister Imran Khan had given the go-ahead to hold talks with the IMF for a bailout programme after consulting economic experts and stakeholders.

However, The minister has expressed that it would be Pakistan’s last bailout package from IMF. Pakistan has successfully gained $6 billion economic assistance package from friendly Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. China has also extended its support to help the neighbouring country to resolve its economic crisis.

The Finance minister says the package is being sought only to get relief for the time being and run the country’s economic system smoothly. “Meanwhile, we will improve our capacity by gradually reducing the trade deficit, increasing foreign remittances, improving tax revenues, and introducing other revenue generation measures in a bid to avoid the IMF packages in future,” he said.