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The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has removed Pakistan’s agenda from the Executive Board calendar soon after it announced to take Sixth Review of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) in its meeting scheduled for January 12.

The IMF Executive Board calendar was updated, on Thursday, on its website, showing that its meeting has been scheduled for January 12, 2022 and the agenda includes Pakistan - 2021 Article IV Consultation, Sixth Review under the Extended Arrangement, under the Extended Fund Facility, and Requests for Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria and Rephasing of Access.

However, later Pakistan’s agenda was removed. When contacted, Ministry of Finance spokesperson Muzzammil Aslam, told Business Recorder that January 12, 2022 was earlier given as a tentative date for the Fund Executive Board meeting on Pakistan.

However, the board will meet after the country has met prior conditions.

He said that the government has tabled two bills including the Finance (supplementary) Bill and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Amendment Bill, 2021, in the parliament as the prior conditions needed for the sixth review of the $6 billion EFF to get cleared by the IMF’s executive board.

Soon after the passage of these bills from the Parliament latest by January 15, 2022, the board meeting would be scheduled within few days, Aslam added.

Completion of the review would make available SDR 750 million (about $1,059 million), bringing total disbursements under the EFF to about $3,027 million.

Pakistan and the IMF had reached a staff-level agreement on policies and reforms needed to complete the sixth review under the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) and issued a press statement on November 21, 2021.

The staff-level agreement is subject to approval by the Executive Board, following the implementation of prior actions, mainly on fiscal and institutional reforms.

Business Recorder also sent a message on WhatsApp to Esther Perez Ruiz, IMF Resident Representative and asked about the development; however, till filing of this report no response was received.

This report was first published in Business Recorder on Jan 8, 2022.