Pakistan asks IMF to postpone 6th country review meeting to end of January

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Pakistan has asked the International Monetary Fund to postpone the Jan. 12 board meeting to consider the release of $ 1 billion from the IMF’s three-year $ 6 billion program, the finance ministry said on Monday.

Pakistan has called for a delay to give its parliament time to adopt fiscal tightening measures linked to the release of funds, Reza Baqir, former IMF official and current governor of the State Bank of Pakistan told Reuters on Monday. . “The government would like to ensure that there is a proper parliamentary process, so that there is ownership of these laws,” he said.

The finance minister said the IMF board would look into the matter as soon as legislative procedures are completed, referring to a mid-year budget that cuts a number of tariff exemptions and introduces new tax relief measures. receipts. An IMF spokesperson confirmed that the review and eventual approval meeting for the sixth review of the Pakistan Extended Financing Facility (EFF) was postponed at the country’s request, and said no new date. had not yet been fixed.

The legislation was presented to parliament late last month, but met fierce resistance from opposition parties amid rising inflation and a growing current account deficit. Last week the government said it was confident to pass the budget later this month.

Baqir said a 10-14 day delay in accessing funds would not make “much of a difference”, especially given Pakistan’s success in generating income from other sources. He said some $ 3 billion had been received through a separate program encouraging Pakistanis living abroad to send money home through official banking channels, not informal channels.

Baqir said it was more than what Pakistan received from the IMF, but added that IMF funding was important because of the positive signal it was sending to other creditors.

(This story was not edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)


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