In last-ditch effort, PM meets IMF MD in Paris

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PARIS, FRANCE: Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday met Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva on the sidelines of the summit for a New Global Financial Pact being held in Paris, France.

The two exchanged views on the ongoing programmes and cooperation between Pakistan and the global lender.

Recalling their recent telephone conversation on May 27, the premier apprised Georgieva of Pakistan’s economic outlook. He outlined the steps taken by the government for economic growth and stability.

PM Shehbaz further underscored that all prior actions for the 9th review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) had been completed by the government, adding that Pakistan was fully committed to fulfilling its obligations as agreed with the IMF.

The prime minister also expressed the hope that the funds allocated under the IMF’s EFF would be released as soon as possible. This would help strengthen Pakistan’s ongoing efforts towards economic stabilisation and bring relief to its people.

The managing director of the Fund shared her institution’s perspective on the ongoing review process. The meeting provided a useful opportunity to take stock of the progress in that context.

Federal Minister for Climate Change and Environmental Coordination Sherry Rehman, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Sardar Ayaz Sadiq, Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Marriyum Aurangzeb, Minister of State for Finance and Revenue Aisha Ghaus Pasha, Special Assistant to PM Tariq Fatemi and Pakistan’s Ambassador to France Asim Iftikhar Ahmad attended the meeting.

PM Shehbaz is currently on a two-day official visit to France at the invitation of French President Emmanuel Macron.

During his visit, he will participate in the New Global Financing Pact Summit being held in Paris.

Islamabad hopes the summit will prove to be an opportunity for the leaders to discuss the contours of a new global architecture capable of meeting the challenges of financing sustainable development, environment, energy transition and climate change agenda.

The meeting between the premier and the global lender’s managing director comes as the country faces a steep fall in foreign loan disbursements to just $8.4 billion this fiscal year.

PM Shehbaz in the past month has made a telephonic contact with Georgieva and also wrote three letters to her, counting Pakistan’s efforts to revive the stalled $6.5 billion package.

The data released by the Ministry of Economic Affairs earlier this week disclosed that Pakistan’s foreign loan inflows during the current fiscal year have significantly dropped, reaching hardly $8.4 billion. This represents a 37% decline compared to the previous year and falls far below the annual budget estimates.

The decrease in disbursements can be attributed to major international creditors pulling back due to delays in reaching a deal with the IMF.

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