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Ishaq Dar meets US envoy ahead of virtual IMF talks

IMF and Pakistan to hold virtual discussions tonight to discuss financing plan aimed at boosting forex reserves

By Saifur Rahman
February 22, 2023
Ambassador of the United States of America to Pakistan Donald Blome called on Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at Finance Division, Islamabad, on February 23 2023. — Finance Division
Ambassador of the United States of America to Pakistan Donald Blome called on Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Mohammad Ishaq Dar at Finance Division, Islamabad, on February 23 2023. — Finance Division 

Ahead of an important meeting between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Pakistan officials, United States of America Ambassador Donald Blome expressed confidence in the policies and programmes of the Pakistan government for economic sustainability.

The US envoy called on Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue Senator Ishaq Dar to discuss measures taken by the coalition government to address the economic challenges that the country is grappling with at the moment.

The finance czar — according to the statement released by the Finance Division — shared economic policies and priorities of the government to address the challenging economic environment and set the economy on the trajectory path.

It was also shared that the present government is highly concerned about the well-being of the masses therefore a number of measures are being undertaken in this regard.

The two sides exchanged views on matters of common interest and enhance the existing bilateral relations between both countries.

Dar informed the US Ambassador about the government’s pragmatic plans related to revenues and expenditures for meeting its national as well as international financial obligations.

He shared various economic avenues in which both countries can further deepen their economic relations.

The US envoy underscored that both countries enjoy good relations and expressed confidence in the policies and programmes of the government for the socio-economic uplift of the masses.

He extended his support to further promote bilateral economic, investment and trade relations between both countries.

Earlier today, the sources told Geo News that the economic team of Pakistan will hold virtual talks with the IMF officials where State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Jameel Ahmad would brief the global financier about the financing plan aimed at boosting the foreign exchange reserves.

The sources said that the IMF officials will be briefed about the refinancing from China, and financial support expected from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

It was further learnt that the negotiations with the Washington-based lender are expected to be finalised in a day or two.

Pakistan is desperate to unlock the next tranche worth $1.1 billion loan facility with the IMF but struggling to meet tough conditions set by the global financier.

The IMF is demanding that Pakistan boosts its pitifully low tax base, end exemptions for the export sector, and raise artificially low energy prices that are meant to help poor families.

Pakistan is in dire need of funds as it battles a wrenching economic crisis as the SBP-held foreign exchange reserves barely cover one month of imports.