Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Monday resumed their talks virtually, with Islamabad hoping that the discussion will help it ease pressure on the country’s ailing economy. Islamabad’s Finance Secretary Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh told Reuters that the duration of the talks cannot be confirmed but intend to finish the talks at the soonest.
The South Asian country had held talks with the IMF for 10 days in Islamabad from Jan 31 to Feb 09, but both didn’t reach a deal, Dawn reported.
Though, IMF in a statement said that both have agreed to stay engaged in virtual discussions in the coming days to finalise the implementation details.
The talks between the two focused on the ninth review of IMF’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) arrangement with Pakistan that was concluded in 2019. The international organisation appreciated Prime Minister Sharif’s commitment to implement policies need to safeguard the economic stability of the country and described the community as ‘constructive.’
The IMF also highlighted the key priorities discussed which included increasing revenue, reducing untargeted subsidies and scaling up social protection programmes.
Former FBR chairman Shbbar Zaidi in a tweet said that Pakistan do not have any choice other than IMF and that all stakeholders have to be on board. Biggest stake is Pakistan.
He also said, ” However the impression that politics & political considerations are overriding economics to be removed. We cannot wait. Why delay?”
Pakistan’s international bonds slipped again on Monday after it suffered sharp falls on Friday following news that a deal with the fund had still to be reached.
(With inputs from agencies)
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