- Statement comes after Finance Minister Ishaq Dar attends IMF-World Bank spring meetings virtually from Islamabad
An official of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) has expressed confidence that the staff-level agreement (SLA) will be signed soon followed by the IMF Board’s approval, according to Pakistan’s Finance Division on Wednesday.
In a statement released after Finance Minister Ishaq Dar attended the IMF-World Bank Spring meetings through Zoom from Islamabad, the Finance Division said Jihad Azour, Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department at the IMF, also hoped Pakistan would continue its progress on the reforms in various sectors.
The resumption of the IMF programme is crucial for the cash-strapped South Asian economy, which is battling high inflation and low foreign exchange reserves. The programme has been stalled at the ninth review since November last year.
On Wednesday, Finance Minister Dar along with Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Dr Aisha Ghous Pasha, SAPM on Finance Tariq Bajwa, and SAPM on Revenue Tariq Mehmood Pasha attended the meeting virtually from Islamabad. Ambassador of Pakistan to the USA Masood Ahmad Khan, Governor State Bank of Pakistan Jameel Ahmad, Secretary of Finance, and Secretary EAD attended the meetings in person.
“Jihad Azour expressed his confidence that the SLA will be signed soon followed by the IMF Board’s approval,” read a statement by the Finance Division. “He hoped that Pakistan would continue towards its progress on the reforms in various sectors and complete the IMF programme in time and IMF will play its positive role in bringing economic stability in Pakistan.”
The statement added that Dar thanked Azour and his IMF team for support extended in the ninth Review.
“The two sides discussed the progress made with the ongoing IMF program, particularly talks held with the IMF Mission during their visit to Pakistan and the implementation of prior actions.”
Dar mentioned that due to local important commitments, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif asked him to stay in Pakistan due to which he had to cancel his scheduled visit to Washington DC and therefore, he is attending the IMF/World Bank Spring meetings via Zoom from Pakistan.
He apprised the IMF team about the economic challenges being faced by the country. He further shared the GoP’s vision for bringing about macroeconomic stability in the country.
He also informed that all prior actions for the ninth review under the Extended Fund Facility have already been completed and the government of Pakistan is fully committed to fulfilling its obligations as agreed with the IMF.
Business Recorder reached out to the IMF, but it did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.