Pakistan is planning to convince the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to conclude its pending ninth review, and both parties are expected to begin virtual discussions next week.
A senior official in the Finance Division sent an email to the IMF, and “we’re awaiting their response.”
The virtual talks will be formal or informal on Monday. Since informal talks have been ongoing for two and a half months, the start of formal talks will be a significant step forward.
An official from the Finance Division confirmed that the government had shared the broad outline of upcoming talks with Nathan Porter of the IMF.
It was learned that the two parties talked about:
- -Fiscal consolidation entails taking additional taxation measures and cutting spending to keep the budget deficit within the agreed-upon limit with the IMF.
- -Taking all necessary corrective measures to create a sustainable roadmap for the cash-strapped energy sector, such as reducing the flow and stock of circular debt and raising electricity and gas tariffs.
- -Getting the exchange rate in line with the free market mechanism
A senior IMF official told Pakistan that virtual talks will take place next week and that a review mission would be available if needed. “It is possible to reach a staff-level agreement within seven to 15 days without paying a physical visit,” said the top official.
The source stated that the IMF has already communicated with Islamabad to reach an agreement on the Memorandum of Financial Policies (MEFP).
According to him, the economy would suffer more if the IMF mission paid a visit and the talks failed, adding that Pakistan may commence talks on Monday, allowing both parties to reach an agreement on the MEFP.