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Pakistan PM Hopeful Of IMF Loan Agreement Amid Escalating Crisis

Pakistan PM Hopeful Of IMF Loan Agreement Amid Escalating Crisis

“We’re nonetheless very hopeful that the IMF programme will materialise. Our ninth evaluation by the IMF will match all phrases and situations and, hopefully, we’ll have some excellent news this month,” the 71-year-old chief advised the Anadolu information company in an interview.

The prime minister’s assertion got here as Pakistan seeks the fast launch of $1.1bn, a part of a $6.5bn bailout package deal the nation signed up for in 2019.

Pakistan final acquired an IMF tranche as a part of the programme in August final yr. Regardless of a 10-day go to by the lender’s delegation earlier this yr, the programme, which is about to run out by the top of June, stays stalled.

The nation is dealing with an acute steadiness of fee disaster because it prepares to announce its annual federal price range on June 9.

Sharif, who additionally spoke to IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva final month to revive the programme, advised Anadolu that Pakistan has met the necessities the worldwide lender requested for.

“We’ve got met all conditionalities. I repeat, every requirement of the IMF as prior actions has been met,” he said, including, “A few of these actions are often met after the board’s approval, however this time the IMF required that these actions be met earlier than the board’s approval, so we’ve got met them.”

The premier, who got here to energy final yr after his predecessor Imran Khan misplaced a confidence vote in parliament, stated Pakistan was beset with a number of issues, together with persevering with political unrest and the aftermath of catastrophic floods that hit the nation final yr.

“Mixed with that, we face galloping inflation due to the worldwide scenario,” he added, primarily referring to the struggle in Ukraine.

Inflation in Pakistan hit an all-time excessive of 38 % final month, whereas the Pakistani rupee has depreciated by 53 % since April. In keeping with a latest report by the USA Institute of Peace, Pakistan must repay $77.5bn in exterior debt by June 2026.

Safiya Aftab, an Islamabad-based economist, advised Al Jazeera two points may very well be hindering the renewal of the IMF programme.

“It appears the IMF has sought to see the upcoming price range paperwork and the federal government has stated no to that demand,” she said, including,. “The opposite concern is that IMF has requested for proof of pledges made by bilateral donors for our exterior financing, which we’ve got not accomplished as but.”

With a fee of greater than $20bn due within the upcoming fiscal yr, Pakistan’s choices look far and few, stated Aftab, including that Pakistan could have to return to the IMF for a brand new bailout package deal.

“Until we get an injection of funds within the subsequent few months, both from the IMF or bilateral donors, Pakistan gained’t be capable to meet its debt obligations and risks of default are very actual,” she continued.

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