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IMF declines to comment on Imran Khan’s election audit demand

Director Julie Kozack says Fund is looking forward to working with new Pakistani govt

By News Desk

February 23, 2024 12:47 PM


IMF declines to comment on Imran Khan’s election audit demand

IMF Director of Strategic Communications Julie Kozack

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has declined to comment on former Pakistani prime minister Imran Khan’s letter calling for election audit, saying the Fund is looking forward to working with the new government in Pakistan, reported 24NewsHD TV channel.

During a news briefing in Washington on Friday, IMF Director of Strategic Communications Julie Kozack said: “On January 11, the IMF Executive Board approved the first review of the Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), with Pakistan that brought total disbursements under the SBA to $1.9 billion. The SBA is supporting the authority’s efforts to stabilize the economy and to, of course, with a strong focus on protecting the most vulnerable.”

She said “During the period of the caretaker government, the authorities have maintained economic stability. This has been done through strict adherence to fiscal targets while also protecting the social safety net. It has been done by maintaining a tight monetary policy stance to control inflation and to continue to build up foreign exchange reserves.”

“We look forward to working with the new government on policies to ensure macroeconomic stability and prosperity for all of Pakistan’s citizens. And I am going to leave it at that,” she said.

On Thursday, Ali Zafar, the lawyer of Imran Khan told reporters that the former prime minister will write to the IMF urging it to call for an independent audit of the country’s controversial Feb 8 general elections before it continues talks with Islamabad.

Reacting to Imran Khan’s letter, Julie Kozack said, “I’m not going to comment on ongoing political developments. So, I don’t have anything else to add to what I just said.”

Earlier, Bloomberg News, citing a Pakistani official, reported on Thursday that Pakistan plans to seek a new loan of at least $6 billion from the Fund to help the incoming government repay billions in debt due this year.

The country will seek to negotiate an Extended Fund Facility with the IMF, the report said, adding that the talks with the global lender were expected to start in March or April.

Ahead of the bailout, the South Asian nation had to undertake a slew of measures demanded by the IMF, including revising its budget, a hike in its benchmark interest rate, and increases in electricity and natural gas prices.

Pakistan’s vulnerable external position means that securing financing from multilateral and bilateral partners will be one of the most urgent issues facing the next government, ratings agency Fitch said on Monday last.


News Desk


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