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Cannot specify when IMF talks will conclude: ministry

IMF's country representative to Pakistan says IMF's Sixth Review talks with Pakistan are underway

By Ashraf Malkham
October 22, 2021
— AFP/File
— AFP/File

ISLAMABAD: A specific time frame cannot be given for the conclusion of Pakistan's talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF),  a statement from the Ministry of Finance and Revenue said Friday.

The statement was issued by a spokesperson of the ministry, saying that currently, no comments can be made on the progress of the negotiations.

Meanwhile, the IMF's country representative for Pakistan said that IMF's Sixth Review talks with Pakistan are underway.

The representative added that Pakistan's efforts for the completion of talks are being reviewed.

"The IMF is reviewing Pakistan's economic policies and reforms," he added.

After the review, the IMF will decide whether or not to issue a $1 billion instalment to Pakistan.

Speculations are being made about Pakistan not being hopeful for success in the talks.

Even if the Sixth Review Talks are successful, Pakistan will face a new set of conditions from the IMF.

'Negotiations with IMF moving forward positively'

Earlier this week, State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Governor Reza Baqir said Pakistan's negotiations with the IMF are moving forward in a positive manner.

Baqir's statement came shortly after IMF Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department Jihad Azour said that talks between Pakistan and the IMF on the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) are progressing in a "very good" manner.

Tarin insists Pakistan's talks with IMF have not failed

On October 17, Advisor to the Prime Minister on Finance Shaukat Tarin said that the impression that Pakistan's negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) have failed is false.

Speaking exclusively to Geo News, the prime minister's advisor said Pakistan is still negotiating a deal with the IMF.

"The impression that talks with the IMF have failed is false," he said.

"I always bluntly tell you like it is, and I have [done the same] to tell you why we are in the mess that we are in today," he said. "I have told you about the deficiencies and how we fix them."

A press statement by the Ministry of Finance confirmed what the prime minister's advisor said earlier.

"Negotiations between Pakistan and IMF are moving forward positively. Secretary Finance Division is leading the talks in Washington DC while the technical teams of both sides are continuing detailed discussions in a virtual format after the exchange of relevant data sets," it said.