International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva has said she is optimistic that the current bailout programme with Pakistan would be successfully completed.
“My hope is that with the goodwill of everyone, with the implementation of what has been already agreed by the Pakistani authorities, we can complete our current programme successfully,” Georgieva said while addressing a news conference on Thursday.
To a query on what Pakistan needed to do to avoid reaching an unsustainable debt position, the IMF chief said: “We have been working very hard with the authorities in Pakistan within the context of our current programme to make sure that Pakistan has the policy framework” in place to avoid reaching the point of unsustainable debt.
“We are not there yet, and it is better not to get there,” she said.
On last year’s floods, which devastated large swathes of land in Pakistan, while displacing millions, the IMF chief said that the floods were “much more dramatic” than the devastation that occurred in 2011.
“Pakistan will continue to be on the frontline of the climate crisis,” she said.
Meanwhile, in a major development towards a revival of the stalled bailout programme, United Arab Emirates (UAE) authorities assured the International Monetary Fund (IMF) that it will provide $1 billion as bilateral support to Pakistan, said Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday.
Pakistan was required to give an assurance that its balance of payments deficit is fully financed for the remaining period of the IMF programme that has been stalled since November last year.
Earlier, an official of the IMF expressed confidence that the staff-level agreement (SLA) will be signed soon followed by its board’s approval.
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.