Pakistan’s inclusion in the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board schedule is delayed until mid-December, hindering the approval of the staff-level agreement (SLA) and the disbursement of $700 million.
Sources reveal that the Ministry of Finance has been striving to secure a date in early December for the approval of the SLA, essential for the first review of the $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA).
Efforts have been made to schedule the executive board meeting for December 7 or any time before the Christmas holidays. However, it appears unlikely until at least December 14, as executive board members will be unavailable during the last week of December and the first week of January due to the Christmas and New Year holidays.
The IMF updated its executive board meeting schedule, which includes cases from various countries, such as Armenia, Bangladesh, Belgium, Benin, Cabo Verde, Congo, Côte d’Ivoire, Moldova, Rwanda, Senegal, Somalia, and Sri Lanka, until December 14.
These meetings cover aspects like Article IV consultations on economic developments and policies, including program reviews such as the extended fund facility (EFF) signed with Pakistan.
Typically, the IMF board of executive directors takes approximately two weeks after the staff-level agreement for approval, provided there are no outstanding prior actions. In the case of Pakistan’s first quarterly review, there are no outstanding prior actions, as a staff-level agreement was reached on November 15 in Islamabad.
This agreement grants Pakistan access to SDR 528 million (around US$700 million), bringing total disbursements under the nine-month $3 billion SBA, signed in July, to almost $1.9 billion. The smooth quarterly review marked compliance with most quantitative targets.
The IMF mission urged authorities to return to a market-determined exchange rate, highlighted risks from geopolitical tensions, rising commodity prices, and challenging global financial conditions.
The mission advised ongoing efforts to build resilience and emphasized the importance of timely disbursement of committed external support to support policy and reform efforts. Saudi Arabia had previously rolled over a $3 billion deposit well before maturity.