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Pakistan has requested IMF to reschedule sixth review till January end: Finance Ministry

10 Jan, 2022
As soon as the legislative procedures are completed, the IMF board will consider it for approval, says Finance Ministry. File photo
As soon as the legislative procedures are completed, the IMF board will consider it for approval, says Finance Ministry. File photo

The Finance Division has officially requested the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to reschedule the meeting of its Board of Directors for the approval of the sixth review of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility till end of January.

According to a press statement issued by the Finance Ministry on Monday, the government had introduced bills - the Finance (supplementary) Bill and the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) Amendment Bill, 2021 - in the National Assembly whereas the IMF removed the sixth tranche recommendation to its board for consideration on the January 12.

As soon as the legislative procedures are completed, the IMF board would consider it for approval, the statement added.

Earlier, Ministry of Finance Spokesperson Muzzammil Aslam said that January 12 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 the government tabled two bills 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.

A session of the National Assembly has been summoned on Monday (today) with the Finance (Supplementary) Bill, generally known as the mini-budget, on its agenda. On the other hand leader of the Opposition in NA Shehbaz Sharif has convened a meeting of the joint opposition in the Parliament House before the start of the sitting to devise a strategy to block the bill’s passage.

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.