Pakistan, IMF reach staff level agreement

0
51

The staff-level agreement is subject to approval by the IMF executive board, says global lender
ISLAMABAD
Pakistan and IMF have reached a staff level agreement.
“The IMF staff and the Pakistani authorities have reached a staff-level agreement on policies to be supported by a Stand-by Arrangement (SBA). The staff-level agreement is subject to approval by the IMF Executive Board, with its consideration expected by mid-July,” read a statement posted on the IMF website.
The development comes as Finance Minister Ishaq Dar told Reuters late on Thursday night that a staff-level agreement for a crucial bailout deal with the IMF was “very close” and expected in the next 24 hours. “We are very close to signing a staff level agreement with the IMF.” “I think it should come sometime tonight or maximum within 24 hours … We have finalised everything.” Later in a tweet, Dar, in a tweet, expressed his gratitude over the successful and result-oriented dialogue with the IMF.
According to the statement, the IMF staff team led by its mission chief to Pakistan – Nathan Porter – held in person and virtual meetings with the Pakistani Authorities to discuss a new financing engagement for Pakistan under a Stand-by Arrangement (SBA).
“I am pleased to announce that the IMF team has reached a staff-level agreement with the Pakistani authorities on a nine-month Stand-by Arrangement (SBA),” Porter said, adding, “The full and timely implementation of the programme will be critical for its success in light of the difficult challenges.”
He said the new SBA built on the authorities’ efforts under Pakistan’s 2019 Extended Fund Facility (EFF)-supported programme which was to expire on June 20. “This agreement is subject to approval by the IMF’s Executive Board, which is expected to consider this request by mid-July.”
About the background and the challenges faced by Pakistan, Porter said since the completion of the combined seventh and eight reviews under the 2019 EFF in August 2022, the country’s economy had faced several external shocks, including the catastrophic floods in 2022 that impacted the lives of millions of Pakistanis and an international commodity price spike in the wake of Russia’s war in Ukraine.
He went to point out some objections over the policy adopted by Pakistan, saying. “As a result of these shocks as well as some policy missteps—including shortages from constraints on the functioning of the FX market—economic growth has stalled.