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.