Pakistan talks with IMF completed, announcement expected soon -minister

·1-min read

By Syed Raza Hassan

KARACHI, Pakistan (Reuters) - Pakistan's talks with the International Monetary Fund have been completed and an announcement on staff level agreement by the fund is expected soon, the country’s finance minister said on Wednesday.

“Our talks with IMF have been completed, the fund is going through its internal process. Hopefully, an announcement will come soon,” Miftah Ismail, the finance minister, told private news channel Geo on Wednesday night.

Earlier in the day, Bloomberg reported that staff level agreement had been reached, quoting an unnamed official.

“There is no outstanding issue left with IMF, I do not think there is much to talk about, they had raised some issues which we have addressed and also managed to convince them on some points,” the minister added.

An IMF representative in Pakistan did not respond to request for comment.

Pakistan entered the IMF programme in 2019, but only half the funds have been disbursed to date as Islamabad has struggled to keep targets on track.

The last disbursement was in February and the next tranche was to follow a review in March, but the government of ousted prime minister Imran Khan introduced costly fuel price caps which threw fiscal targets and the programme off track.

Pakistan's new government has removed the price caps, with fuel prices at the pump going up by as much as 70% in a matter of three weeks.

Pakistan had sought an increase in the size and duration of the programme when Ismail met with IMF officials in Washington in April.

(Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan in Karachi; Editing by Matthew Lewis)

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