Pakistan, IMF likely to commence talks from March 15

Islamabad will request a new loan of $6bn to $8bn along with the last tranche of $1.1bn under the ongoing program

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) are likely to commence negotiations for the second review on the $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) from March 15.

According to media reports, Pakistan’s newly sworn-in Finance Minister Mohammad Aurangzeb has given the green signal for negotiations with the IMF for the ongoing SBA and a new loan programme.

During the talks, Islamabad will request the global lender about the last tranche of $1.1 billion under the SBA programme. 

Pakistan has already achieved the targets set by the IMF for the second review, the sources said. They further said Pakistan is likely to request from the IMF for a $6 to 8 billion new lifeline to back its depleting forex reserves and meet foreign payment obligations. 

Finance Ministry sources said Islamabad will engage the IMF on the economic targets for the fresh loan programme.

On March 8, the IMF said it was ready to send a mission to Islamabad for the second economic review after the formation of PM Shehbaz Sharif’s cabinet. 

Earlier, the IMF Director of Communications said that the focus currently is on completing the ongoing standby program, which is ending in April 2024. A mission for the second review would be dispatched immediately after the formation of the new cabinet in Pakistan.

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