IMF team arrives in Pakistan for bailout review – sources

By Thomson Reuters Mar 13, 2024 | 12:10 AM

ISLAMABAD (Reuters) – An International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission is arriving in Pakistan on Wednesday for a second and last review of a $3 billion standby arrangement, two sources said.

The four-day review begins on Thursday, said the two finance ministry officials, who were speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorised to disclose the information.

Islamabad secured the last-gasped rescue package last summer to avert a sovereign default.

The last review, if successful, will release a tranche of around $1.1 billion.

Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has already directed his finance team, headed by newly installed Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb to initiate work on seeking an Extended Fund Facility (EFF) after the standby arrangement expires on April 11.

Aurangzeb told reporters that the team was arriving this week, without mentioning a date, according to the Dawn daily.

The lender has said it will formulate a medium-term programme if Islamabad applies for one.

(Reporting by Asif Shahzad in Islamabad and Ariba Shahid in Karachi; Editing by Raju Gopalakrishnan)