IMF executive board to discuss ‘approval of $1.1bn funding for Pakistan on April 29’

IMF executive board to discuss ‘approval of $1.1bn funding for Pakistan on April 29’

This file photo taken on January 26, 2022, shows the seal for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC. — AFP
  • Pakistan secured SBA last summer to avert sovereign default.
  • Govt seeking new long-term, larger IMF loan.
  • Islamabad could secure SLA on new program by early July: FinMin.

The executive board of the International Monetary Fund will meet on April 29 to discuss the approval of $1.1 billion funding for Pakistan, the fund said on Wednesday.

The funding is the second and last tranche of a $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the IMF, which it secured last summer to avert a sovereign default and which runs out this month.

The South Asian nation is seeking a new long-term, larger IMF loan. Pakistan’s Finance Minister, Muhammad Aurangzeb, has said Islamabad could secure a staff-level agreement on the new program by early July.

Islamabad says it is seeking a loan over at least three years to help macroeconomic stability and execute a long-due and painful structural reforms, though Aurangzeb has declined to detail what seize of programme the country seeks.

Islamabad is yet to make a formal request, but the Fund and the government are already in discussions.

If secured, it would be the 24th IMF bailout for Pakistan.

The $350 billion economy faces a chronic balance of payment crisis, with nearly $24 billion to repay in debt and interest over the next fiscal year – three-time more than its central bank’s foreign currency reserves.

Pakistan’s finance ministry expect the economy to grow by 2.6% in the current fiscal year ending June, while average inflation is projected to stand at 24%, down from 29.2% in fiscal year 2023/2024.

Inflation soared to a record high of 38% last May.

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