Finance Minister Aurangzeb leaves for Washington to hold talks with IMF

Finance Minister Aurangzeb leaves for Washington to hold talks with IMF

ISLAMABAD: An economic delegation led by Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb has left for Washington on Sunday to hold negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a new bailout package, Geo News reported.

Talks between Pakistan and the IMF would be held next week, wherein Islamabad will request the global lender for the approval of a new loan programme.

Negotiations for the new loan programme will be held after the executive board meeting while the finance minister is expected to call on the IMF managing director later in Washington.

Apart from the Fund, the team is expected to meet with the officials of the World Bank and other institutes as well.

Ahead of his visit to the United States, Aurangzeb on April 12 briefed Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif about his meetings with the officials of the IMF, World Bank and other institutions.

According to a statement issued by the Prime Minister’s Office, matters related to the overall economic situation of the country were discussed in the meeting.

Whereas, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva on April 11 confirmed that Pakistan was in discussions with the Fund on a potential follow-up programme to its nine-month, $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA), adding that it had important issues to solve.

Georgieva had told an event at the Atlantic Council think tank that Pakistan was successfully completing its existing programme with the IMF and its economy was performing somewhat better, with reserves now being built up.

“There is a commitment to continue on this path, and the country is turning to the fund for potentially having a follow-up programme,” Georgieva had said, flagging issues that the struggling South Asian nation still needed to address.