ISLAMABAD: The talks between the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and Islamabad have concluded, but the Staff Level Agreement has not been signed yet. The government announced on Thursday that they had reached a mutual agreement on a set of prior actions with the IMF to complete the ninth review.
Secretary of Finance, Hamed Yaqoob Sheikh, confirmed that the IMF mission is departing on early Friday morning.
He stated, “The actions and prior actions have been agreed upon, but the Staff Level Agreement will be signed at a later time.”
The government did not disclose the details of the prior actions, as the Finance Minister stated in a media talk yesterday that the IMF has restricted them from publicly discussing the minutes of the meeting.
Before the end of the scheduled review talks, the IMF reviewed the draft of the Memorandum for Economic and Financial Policies, which left no opportunity for the staff-level agreement to be signed on the same day
In order to secure the Memorandum of Economic and Finance policies (MEFP) and the Staff Level Agreement, the government ultimately conceded to nearly every demand made by the IMF.
Due to the failure of the talks, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar canceled his planned media briefing.
To resolve the impasse, an unplanned virtual meeting took place between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter.
The IMF delegation had been in Islamabad since January 31st in order to resolve disagreements regarding the government’s fiscal policy, which had prevented the release of more than $1 billion from the $6.5 billion bailout package agreed upon in 2019.
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