Talks to revive $6 billion IMF package next week

Observer Report

Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund are set to resume talks for the revival of a $6 billion derailed programme next week, in which both the sides would try to find a middle ground on the contentious issue of increase in electricity prices.

The five-day round of technical discussions will virtually begin on October 4, with the IMF team joining from Doha, Qatar.

Sources said that Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin was keen to conclude the parleys on a positive note during face- to-face meet-ings with the top IMF management in Washington on October 15.

The IMF has not yet shown its willingness for the face-to-face meetings and instead proposed vir-tual meetings for October 13 to 15.

Therefore, the schedule of the policy-level talks remains tentative and it will be finalised next week, according to fi-nance ministry sources.

The policy level talks are coinciding with the annual IMF-WB meetings that will take place from October 11 to 17th.

The Pakistan’s embassy in Washington and the State Bank of Pakistan gover-nor are trying to get dates from the IMF top man-agement for a physical meeting.

The finance ministry did not respond to a question whether the October 13-15 round in Washington would also be held virtually.

The ministry also did not respond to another question regarding Pakistan’s request for a meeting with the IMF managing direc-tor.

Finance Minister Tarin has already announced that he would visit Washington from October 12 to 17 to hold talks with the top IMF management on the sidelines of the annual meetings.

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