IMF visit to Pakistan delayed until new govt forms

This visit is crucial for concluding the $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA) due to expire on April 12

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has postponed its review mission to Pakistan, originally scheduled following the February 8 general elections, until the new federal and provincial governments are established, a process expected to last two to five weeks.

This visit is crucial for concluding the $3 billion Standby Arrangement (SBA) due to expire on April 12 and for discussing a medium-term bailout package essential for avoiding a default on foreign debt repayments.

The delay, necessitated by the need for government formation at both the national and provincial levels, puts the finalization of the IMF’s second review and the release of a $1.2 billion tranche on hold. Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have dwindled to $8.04 billion as of early February, emphasizing the urgency of the IMF’s financial support.

The review, now rescheduled to March 15, 2024, aims to provide Pakistan with enough time to meet the program’s structural benchmarks. However, election controversies and calls for investigation into alleged voting irregularities have further complicated the timeline. The successful completion of the IMF review is pivotal for Pakistan to avoid a balance of payments crisis and to secure a new financial agreement that will influence the country’s economic policy and reform agenda moving forward.

Monitoring Desk
Monitoring Desk
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