Following a meeting between Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and IMF’s managing director Kristalina Georgieva in Paris on Thursday a breakthrough has been reported in the talks on the release of the next loan tranche for Pakistan.
Yasir Nazar of Aaj News reported that Pakistan and IMF have reached an agreement after a flurry of meetings in Paris. Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his team worked with the IMF officials in Paris for three days, he said.
A draft has been finalized and the deal could be announced as early as Saturday (today), he said.
However, sources in Karachi were less optimistic about the development.
Shehbaz Sharif met with Kristalina Georgieva on the sidelines of the Summit for a New Global Financial Pact.
“Views were exchanged on the ongoing programmes and cooperation between Pakistan and IMF,” read a statement from the Prime Minister’s Office (PMO) shortly after the meeting.
Pakistan faces the June 30 deadline to conclude the deal before the IMF program for the country ends.
Reports on Saturday morning said that Pakistan had given in to IMF demands about petroleum development levy and amnesty schemes.
Finance Minister Dar would modify the budget for the fiscal year 2023-24 in his speech on the floor of the parliament to accommodate the IMF demands, said the reports.
In a related development on Friday, the government lifted curbs on imports allowing banks to issue foreign currency to importers for the release of around 6,000 shipping containers stuck at the ports.