IMF pauses Pakistan’s fund facility ‘virtually’

Islamabad, April 5 : The sudden dissolution of the Pakistan National Assembly and the fall of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf government has led to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) pausing the country’s fund facility, Dawn reported on Tuesday. Esther Perez Ruiz, IMF’s resident representative in Islamabad, said that the fund is waiting for the new government to enter office and will engage with it once it was formed. The fund’s $6bn Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Pakistan had already hit a deadlock earlier this month when beleaguered Prime Minister Imran Khan announced a major relief package involving a tax amnesty scheme and energy price cuts, seen by the IMF as a reversal of agreed reform measures introduced in the mini-budget to revive the programme after months of virtual suspension. However, Ruiz assured that the IMF looks forward to continuing its support to Pakistan and, once a new government is formed, we will engage on policies to promote macroeconomic stability, and inquire about intentions vis-a-vis programme engagement, adding “There is no concept of suspension within IMF programmes” The Ministry of Finance also claimed that the two sides “remain engaged in data-sharing and reform discussions as part of EFF,” adding that there is no truth to speculation about the suspension of the programme”. ACL1341

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