IMF team may hold talks with Ishaq Dar in Geneva

Fund’s representative says both sides will discuss outstanding issues and try to find a way forward on loan programme

By: News Desk
Published: 12:39 PM, 8 Jan, 2023
IMF team may hold talks with Ishaq Dar in Geneva
Caption: IMF Representative to Pakista Esther Pérez Ruiz
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A delegation of International Monetary Fund is expected to meet Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on the sidelines of International Geneva Conference going to be held tomorrow (Jan 9), the IMF spokesperson said on Sunday, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

In a statement, IMF representative in Islamabad Esther Pérez Ruiz said Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif held a constructive talk with the managing director of the Fund on Jan 6 regarding the Geneva Conference scheduled to be held on Jan 9.

The representative said that the IMF MD expressed her sympathy to those directly affected by the floods and supported Pakistan’s efforts to build a more resilient recovery.

She said that a delegation of the Fund is expected to meet Finance Minister Dar on the sidelines of Geneva Conference and they would discuss outstanding issues and are expected to find a way forward on the IMF loan programme. 

Pakistan entered a $6 billion IMF programme in 2019, which was increased to $7bn last year. The programme’s ninth review, which would release $1.18bn, is currently pending. It had earlier been put off for two months due to government’s unwillingness to accept certain conditions placed before it by the Fund, and the disagreements have yet to be resolved.

The IMF spokesperson’s statement came two days after prime minister announced that a delegation of the Fund would visit Pakistan in next two to three days to complete the ninth review of the IMF $7 billion loan programme for Pakistan. 

On Friday, Managing Director International Monetary Fund Ms Kristalina Georgieva called Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif over telephone and reiterated her commitment to help Pakistan in the difficult period.

She also expressed her deep sympathy and concern on the human and material losses due to recent floods.

The prime minister thanked the Managing Director for her concern on the fallout of the floods and extended an invitation to her to participate in the Climate Resilient Pakistan Conference at Geneva.

Kristalina Georgieva thanked the PM for the invitation to participate in the Climate Resilient Pakistan Conference at Geneva, saying she would be able to join the conference virtually as the IMF Board meetings had been prefixed for January 9 -10.

The prime minister assured the MD IMF that Pakistan was committed to successfully completing the ongoing IMF programme and thanked the Ms Kristalina Georgieva for her understanding and empathy of the challenges that Pakistan was facing.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also wrote an op-ed in The Guardian on Friday to highlight the recovery, rehabilitation and reconstruction challenges facing Pakistan after one of the worst floods due to climate change.

Also Read: Number of food-insecure people in Pakistan has doubled after floods: PM