Pakistan's Premier Multilingual News Agency

IMF team arrives in Pakistan for discussions on a larger program

Islamabad, 11 May 2024, (GNP): IMF delegation arrived in Pakistan on Friday to engage in discussions concerning Pakistan’s request for an expanded and extended bailout package through the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

As per insiders familiar with the situation, a support team from the international lender will engage with Pakistan’s financial team to discuss the initial phase of the forthcoming long-term loan program.

Additionally, sources revealed that an advance team has already arrived in Pakistan for discussions, while the main IMF mission is scheduled to arrive on the night of May 16.

The team will gather data from various departments and will also hold discussions with Ministry of Finance officials regarding the upcoming 2025 budget.

Insiders also disclosed that the team’s stay in Pakistan will exceed 10 days. Pakistan has requested a bailout package ranging from $6 to $8 billion over a three-year period under the EEF, with the potential for additional support through climate financing, as reported by The News last month.

Reuters recently reported that the mission will delve into discussions regarding the FY25 budget, policies, and reforms within a potential new program aimed at the welfare of all Pakistanis.

“Accelerating reforms now is more important than the size of the program, which will be guided by the package of reform and balance of payments needs,” the IMF statement said.

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Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, in conversation with Reuters earlier, expressed Pakistan’s aspiration to finalize the framework of a new IMF loan during May.

“We expect the IMF mission to be in Islamabad around the middle of May — and that is when some of these contours will start developing,” said Aurangzeb.

He refrained from specifying the exact size of the program the government aims to secure, although it’s anticipated that Pakistan will pursue a minimum of $6 billion.

Aurangzeb further mentioned that once the IMF loan is finalized, Pakistan intends to seek additional financing from the Fund through the Resilience and Sustainability Trust.