IMF backs new program for Pakistan, urges resolution of election dispute

Published: Updated:
Read Mode
100% Font Size
2 min read

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) will support formulating a new economic program for Pakistan if the new government seeks one, a spokesperson for the lender said on Friday, encouraging fair resolution of all electoral disputes.

The cash-strapped nation grappled with an uncertain February 8 election that delayed formation of a coalition government until new Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif was sworn in on Monday, though a new finance minister has yet to be decided.

For all the latest headlines follow our Google News channel online or via the app.

“We look forward to engaging with the new government to complete the second review under the current stand-by arrangement and, should the government request, support the formulation of a new medium-term economic program,” the Fund spokesperson said in an e-mail.

The reference was to a $3-billion standby arrangement Pakistan secured last summer from the IMF, though the country has been struggling with record inflation, currency devaluation and shrinking foreign reserves.

The party of jailed former prime minister Imran Khan asked the IMF last month to ensure an audit of the disputed February election before any more bailout talks with Islamabad.

The IMF said that while it did not comment on domestic political developments, it encouraged the fair and peaceful resolution of all electoral disputes, given the importance of the institutional environment for economic stability and growth.

The finance ministry and Khan’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

Sharif has asked his government to open talks with the IMF for a new program after clearing the stand-by arrangement.

After a new cabinet is formed, the fund stands ready to send a mission for the second review of the stand-by arrangement, IMF communications official Julie Kozack told a briefing.

The focus is to complete the current stand-by program, which ends in April 2024, she added.

Pakistan’s sovereign dollar bonds gained as much as 3 cents on Friday, to hit their highest since early 2022.

The 2036 maturity gained the most, adding 3.3 cents to trade at 76.89 cents, on track for a second week of gains of about 5 cents, Tradeweb data showed.

Read more:

A rollercoaster tale in Egypt: Soaring rates, currency floatation, and IMF boost

Sri Lanka committed to repaying debt within 2027-2042 period: Wickremesinghe

Pakistan met IMF’s requirements for $12 bln loan: Report

Top Content Trending