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Pakistan again seeks US help in unlocking IMF funds

Pakistan approaches the US to convince the IMF to finalize the ongoing Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar discusses the impending expiry of the EFF program and
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  • Pakistan approaches the US to convince the IMF to finalize the ongoing Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program.
  • Finance Minister Ishaq Dar discusses the impending expiry of the EFF program and the need for the pending 9th Review.
  • US Ambassador requests tax burden reduction for certain US companies, while the finance minister promises to review the request.

Pakistan has once again reached out to the United States, expressing its desire for the timely completion of the ongoing International Monetary Fund (IMF) program. During a meeting between US Ambassador Donald Blome and Finance and Revenue Minister Ishaq Dar, the issue was discussed.

The finance minister informed the US envoy that the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program is set to expire on June 30, 2023, and emphasized the need for the pending 9th Review to be completed to ensure the program’s success. The finance minister warned that if the IMF does not take action, the program will come to an abrupt end.

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During the meeting, Ambassador Donald Blome requested a reduction in the tax burden on certain US companies operating in Pakistan, particularly those in the beverages sector.

However, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, in the presence of the Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Revenues, did not make any commitments. Instead, he assured the US ambassador that the request would be reviewed during the budget-making process.

In a statement released by the finance ministry, it was mentioned that the US ambassador and the finance minister discussed matters of mutual interest, aiming to enhance bilateral economic, investment, and trade relations between the two countries.

Minister Dar shared the government’s economic policies and priorities to address the challenging economic environment and achieve stability and growth. Both sides exchanged views on various avenues to deepen economic relations between Pakistan and the United States.

The finance minister also updated the US envoy on the government’s pragmatic plans regarding revenues and expenditures to fulfill national and international financial obligations. The ongoing IMF program was highlighted, with the minister reaffirming the government’s commitment to its completion.

Pakistan is currently making last-ditch efforts to revive the stalled EFF program with the IMF. However, hopes are diminishing as the program’s deadline of $6.5 billion approaches on June 30. The country is also facing repayment deadlines for approximately $3.7 billion in overseas debt this month and in June, with foreign exchange reserves standing at just $4.3 billion.

To address this, Pakistan is seeking support from China to roll over more than $2 billion in debt due next month. Beijing has reportedly committed to helping Pakistan by providing fresh funds immediately after the debt payments are made, helping the country avoid immediate default.

These developments illustrate Pakistan’s urgency in securing the necessary support to fulfill its financial obligations and maintain economic stability.

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