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Home Latest Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Contacts IMF Chief to Revive $6.5 Billion Facility

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif Contacts IMF Chief to Revive $6.5 Billion Facility

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reportedly reached out to International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, seeking assistance in reviving the stalled $6.5 billion facility for Pakistan, as per
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Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reportedly reached out to International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva, seeking assistance in reviving the stalled $6.5 billion facility for Pakistan, as per sources cited by Geo News.

According to the sources, PM Shehbaz contacted the IMF chief on May 27, requesting her intervention to complete the pending ninth review. Successful completion of this review would unlock $1.1 billion in financing for the financially struggling nation.

Pakistan is facing approximately $22 billion in external debt service for the fiscal year 2024, beginning in July. This amount, as stated by Columbia Threadneedle Investments, is approximately five times the country’s reserves. Consequently, the coalition government is intensifying its efforts to secure funding, as it teeters on the edge of a sovereign default.

Negotiations between the coalition government and the Washington-based lender have been ongoing since November to revive Pakistan’s bailout program, with the financing gap being one of the major obstacles. Approximately $2.7 billion is left to be disbursed from the $6.5 billion program, which is set to expire next month.

Despite the conditions related to external financing, the prime minister has instructed the Ministry of Finance to prepare the federal budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 in collaboration with the IMF.

It has been learned that the lender aims to address the gap between the rupee-dollar exchange rate in the interbank and open market.

Nathan Porter, IMF mission chief for Pakistan, stated a day earlier that IMF staff continues to engage with Pakistani authorities to facilitate a board meeting before the current program expires at the end of June. Porter mentioned that authorities are focusing on restoring proper functioning in the foreign-exchange market, passing the fiscal year 2023-24 budget aligned with program goals, and ensuring adequate financing.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar, on Sunday, stated that Pakistan would share its budget details with the IMF. He expressed the desire for the IMF to complete the ninth review before the budget presentation, scheduled for early June, as all the required conditions have already been met.

Dar mentioned that the IMF has requested additional information, and Pakistan is prepared to fulfill those requirements. He stated in an interview with Geo News, “They have asked for some more things again, we are ready to give that too, they say that give us budget details, we will give it to them.”

Regarding future reviews, Dar stated that combining the ninth and tenth reviews of the bailout program would not be acceptable for Pakistan, adding, “We will not do it; we see this as unfair.”

Note: The information presented in this article is based on the provided source and does not verify the current status of the situation.

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