ISLAMABAD: The World Monetary Fund (IMF) has said it has agreed with a staff-level agreement with Pakistani authorities on 'policies and reforms needed to complete another review of the $ 6 billion Extended Fund Facility'. ۔
The announcement was made by Ernesto Ramirez Rigo, Head of the Mission in Pakistan, after a series of discussions with the Prime Minister's Advisor to the President, Dr Hafiz Sheikh, Governor State Bank Dr Raza Baqir and Secretary Finance Naveed Kamran Baloch over a video conference over the past 2 weeks.
"The IMF staff and Pakistani authorities have agreed to a level-level agreement on policies and reforms required to complete the second review of the reform program by the authorities under the Extended Fund Facility," the statement said.
The agreement will be approved by the IMF, while it is expected to be considered by the executive board in early April and will be issued approximately $ 45 million after the review is completed.
Pakistani authorities, on the other hand, appeared to refrain from saying anything about 'policies and reforms' needed to complete the second review, but indicated that both sides agreed that before further adjustments. It takes some patience to cope with impending shocks such as high inflation.
In this regard, an official said that it was also expected that the continued drop in oil and gas prices would also create room for adjustment, a factor which could be included in next year's budget.
He said that the policy actions agreed upon could not be fully stated as it could be 'market sensitive' and therefore it had to be kept for a reasonable period of time.
Generally, the details of the IMF program review are made public after review and approval by the Executive Board, and a staff report is issued in this regard.
However, the meeting of the Executive Board, which was to be held in early March, has been postponed for one month and postponed until early April.
However, the official said both sides have acknowledged that the government is under severe pressure due to the problems facing the industry due to energy prices.
In this regard, Prime Minister Imran Khan has announced that the prices of electricity and gas will not change for the next four months of this fiscal.
In addition, the official linked the influx of good news from the IMF to Washington's enthusiastic approach, with US Secretary of Commerce's recent visit to Islamabad to meetings with ministries, the prime minister at almost every level, and upcoming meetings. Within a few days, the Afghan reconciliation agreement is reached.