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Bailout Talks: IMF Mission Chief Set to Arrive in Pakistan Next Week

IMF Mission Chief

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) confirmed its plans to engage in discussions with Pakistani officials regarding the “next phase of engagement” in the upcoming week.

Esther Perez Ruiz, the IMF’s Resident Representative for Pakistan, revealed that a mission team led by Nathan Porter, the IMF’s Mission Chief to Pakistan, will convene with authorities to delve into the country’s economic trajectory and potential avenues for enhancement.

The primary objective of these talks, according to the IMF official, is to establish frameworks for improved governance and foster robust, inclusive economic growth that benefits all citizens of Pakistan.

This announcement follows the arrival of an IMF support team in Pakistan to address the nation’s request for a new bailout package under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

During their anticipated stay of over 10 days, the IMF team is slated to gather data from various government departments and engage in discussions, particularly regarding the forthcoming budget for the fiscal year 2025 (FY2025), in collaboration with officials from the Ministry of Finance.

Notably, Islamabad has sought a bailout package ranging from $6 to $8 billion over a three-year period under the EFF, with potential augmentation through climate financing, as reported by The News last month.

However, the IMF’s recent report cast doubts on Pakistan’s ability to meet its repayment obligations to the Fund, citing significant risks and dependencies on policy implementation and external financing.

The IMF report underscored the country’s substantial financing needs over the next five years, amounting to $123 billion, with projections indicating escalating requirements in subsequent fiscal years.

Against this backdrop, the IMF envisages Pakistan seeking substantial financial assistance in the coming years, with estimates suggesting funding requests of $21 billion in fiscal year 2024-25, rising to $29 billion by 2027-28.

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