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Saturday May 18, 2024

FinMin departs for Washington to seek fresh loan from IMF

Talks for the new loan programme will be held after IMF's Executive Board meeting next week

By Ashraf Malkham
April 14, 2024
This file photo taken on January 26, 2022, shows the seal for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC. — AFP
This file photo taken on January 26, 2022, shows the seal for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: A team headed by Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb Sunday departed for Washington to hold talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new loan programme, Geo News reported.

The TV channel reported that negotiations between Pakistan and the Fund would be held next week, during which the former would request the latter for an economic bailout package.

Talks for the new loan programme will be held after the executive board meeting. While, the finance minister is expected to call on the IMF managing director in Washington.

Apart from the Fund, the team is expected to meet with the officials of the World Bank and other institutes as well.

Ahead of his visit to the United States, Aurangzeb on April 12 briefed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif about his meetings with the officials of the IMF, World Bank and other institutions.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, matters related to the overall economic situation of the country were discussed in the meeting.

Whereas, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva on April 11 confirmed that Pakistan was in discussions with the Fund on a potential follow-up programme to its nine-month, $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), adding that it had important issues to solve.

Georgieva had told an event at the Atlantic Council think tank that Pakistan was successfully completing its existing programme with the IMF and its economy was performing somewhat better, with reserves now being built up.

"There is a commitment to continue on this path, and the country is turning to the fund for potentially having a follow-up programme," Georgieva had said, flagging issues that the struggling South Asian nation still needed to address.