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IMF Chief Hopes to Complete Current Pakistan Program Successfully

Managing Director (MD) of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva said at a news briefing in Washington on Thursday that the lender hopes to complete the current program with Pakistan successfully.

“My hope is that with the goodwill of everyone, with the implementation of what has been already agreed by the Pakistani authorities, we can complete our current program successfully,” she stated.

Responding to a question about external financing requirements for the country, the MD said they were working on getting confirmations from bilateral partners to help close the funding gap. Pakistan had not reached the default level and hoped it would not reach that level, she further explained, also adding, “We have been working very hard with the authorities in Pakistan within the context of our current program to make sure that Pakistan has the policy framework that makes it possible to avoid what you are talking about”.

She said the country needed a long-term policy framework to avoid such risks and hoped Pakistan would finish its current program. She also stated that Pakistan was at the forefront of the threat posed by climate change.

While the IMF chief ‘hoped’ that the talks would result in the renewal of the lender’s bailout to Pakistan, she seemed a little less optimistic than Pakistani officials, who have repeatedly assured their country that a deal was close to being reached.

Meanwhile, Finance and Revenue Minister Ishaq Dar participated in the IMF/World Bank spring meetings via Zoom from Islamabad on Thursday, along with IMF Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Moniso Sayeh. During the meeting, Sayeh was quoted as saying that Pakistan had yet to close its $6 billion external financing gap.

Today, Dar announced on Twitter that UAE authorities had confirmed to the IMF of its bilateral support of $1 billion to Pakistan. “State Bank of Pakistan is now engaged for needful documentation for taking the said deposit from UAE authorities”, he added.

Pertinently, Governor SBP Jameel Ahmed, who is currently in Washington for the IMF/World Bank Spring Meeting, earlier informed participants that the UAE had shared a draft agreement for the provision of an additional $1 billion deposit in order to meet the requirement for signing the IMF deal.

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