ISLAMABAD: Talks between the International Monetary Fund and Pakistan will resume virtually on Monday, a Pakistani official said, as the two sides look to reach a deal to unlock funding critical to keep the cash-strapped south Asian country afloat.

The two could not reach a deal last week and a visiting IMF delegation departed Islamabad after 10 days of talks, but said negotiations would continue. Pakistan is in dire need of funds as it battles a wrenching economic crisis.

“Duration (of the talks) cannot be confirmed but we intend to wrap these up at the soonest,” Finance Secretary Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh told Reuters in a text message, confirming that talks were resuming on Monday.

IMF stresses on 'timely, decisive' implementation of policies as virtual discussions to continue

Talks centre around reaching an agreement on a reforms agenda under the country’s $6.5 billion bailout programme, which it entered in 2019. An agreement on the ninth review of the programme would release over $1.1 billion.

Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank have fallen to $2.9 billion, barely enough to cover three weeks of imports. A resumption of the IMF programme would also unlock other avenues of funding for Pakistan.

An agreement, if reached, would still need to be cleared by the IMF board.


Comments are closed.