April 26, 2023
ISLAMABAD – Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah has said he expects the long-awaited staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund to be finalised within a week to 10 days’ time — a pact that would pave the way for the revival of a $7 billion bailout programme.
The minister made this statement while speaking to the media in Faisalabad on Monday.
“The conditions of that [IMF agreement] are fulfilled and it will be completed in a week to 10 days’ time,” Sanaullah said.
The interior minister expressed the hope that “some relief could be passed to the public” following the IMF programme’s revival.
Pakistan has been negotiating with the IMF since early February for the resumption of the loan programme agreed upon in 2019 and the completion of its ninth review to secure the last tranche of $1.1bn under this facility.
Last week, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif also announced that negotiations with the IMF were in the final stages.
The announcement had come after Pakistan received a rollover of $2bn from China and then $3bn from Saudi Arabia and the UAE, thus meeting the last condition of the IMF of external financing by friendly countries for the release of bailout funds.
With central bank reserves falling to critical levels, hovering around $4bn and barely able to cover a month of imports, the IMF tranche is critical for the country to avert a default on its obligations.