Federal Budget

Finance Minister Aurangzeb leads delegation to US for IMF talks on new bailout package

Finance Minister Aurangzeb leads delegation to US for IMF talks on new bailout package

Pakistan

Finance Minister Aurangzeb leads delegation to US for IMF talks on new bailout package

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ISLAMABAD (Dunya News) – Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb flew to the United States along with a delegation on Sunday to initiate talks with the International Monetary Fund for a new loan programme.

According to sources, negotiations between Pakistan and the IMF for a new bailout package will begin next week, with the country formally making a request to the global lender in this regard.

There is also a possibility of a meeting between Finance Minister Aurangzeb and IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

Sources have indicated that members of the economic team would also participate in the annual meetings of the IMF and World Bank.

Earlier on Thursday, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva stated that Pakistan was in discussions with the IMF on a potential follow-up programme to its nine-month $3 billion stand-by arrangement.

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

However, she expressed the need for Pakistan to address important issues.

"There is a commitment to continue on this path, and the country is turning to the fund for potentially having a follow-up program," Georgieva said, flagging issues that Pakistan still needed to address.

"There are very important issues to be solved in Pakistan: the tax base, how the richer part of society contributes to the economy, the way public spending is directed, and of course, creating ... a more transparent environment."

Pakistan and the IMF last month reached a staff-level agreement on the second and last review of the $3 billion stand-by arrangement, which, if cleared by the global lender's board, will release about $1.1 billion to Pakistan.

Before his departure to Washington, Finance Minister Aurangzeb met with Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Friday and briefed him about his upcoming visit to the United States.

The minister discussed his scheduled meetings with officials from the IMF, World Bank and other financial institutions with the premier.