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Working With Pakistan To Complete The Ninth Review Under The $6.5 Billion Program, Says IMF

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Friday that they were working with Pakistani authorities for conclusion of the pending ninth review under the $6.5 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF), once the external financing was in place. The News Reported

On the other hand, the Pakistani government informed the IMF that time was running out and that it would be up to the Fund to decide how to proceed as the current programme period would end on June 30, 2023. Authorities in Pakistan stated that the programme would fail if the ninth review was not completed within the next one to two weeks. The ninth review since November 2022 was supposed to be completed by the IMF and Pakistan, but so far that hasn’t happened.

This scribe sent questions to the IMF and asked how the sequential approval would be required and whether the programme period would be extended beyond June 30, 2023, or whether the 10th and 11th reviews would be clubbed to end it within the stipulated timeframe. IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter replied, “The IMF continues to work with the Pakistani authorities to bring the ninth review to a conclusion, once the necessary financing is in place and the agreement is finalised”. “In addition, the IMF supports the authorities in implementation of policies in the period ahead, including in the technical work to prepare the FY24 budget, which is to be passed by the National Assembly before June-end,” he added. When Pakistani officials were contacted on Friday, they said Islamabad accomplished all prior conditions, placed by the IMF for completion of the ninth review under the $6.5 billion EFF programme, and they were simply clueless as to why the Fund was delaying striking of a staff-level agreement (SLA). “We have asked the IMF to share clarity when the stalled programme will be revived. There is no luxury available for further dilly-dallying tactics. If the IMF programme did not revive in the next two weeks, then the programme will not be revived,” they added.

One of the top officials stated that the goal of reviving the IMF programme was defeated if Islamabad was forced to negotiate with all bilateral and multilateral creditors without first reaching a staff level agreement. To assure other creditors that the recipient nation’s economy was in sound condition and that default was not imminent, the IMF’s stamp of approval was necessary. However, the IMF’s procrastination strategies revealed that it was not entirely pleased with the nation’s ongoing political and economic developments. The time had come to make a final choice regarding whether the IMF should be revived or failed and left unfinished.

 

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