Pakistan has begun talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for much-awaited bailout funding, its government said on Tuesday.
The talks, which aim to relieve Pakistan from the economic impact of devastating floods last year, are being led by Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and IMF mission chief Nathan Porte.
“He briefed the mission on fiscal and economic reforms and measures being taken by the government in different sectors including bridging the fiscal gap, exchange rate stability and in energy sector,” the Finance Ministry said in a statement.
More than $1 billion in funding has been delayed since November last year over fiscal consolidation issues as part of the lender’s ninth review of its Extended Fund Facility, which is meant to help countries facing a balance-of-payment crisis.
Pakistan secured a $6 billion IMF bailout in 2019, which was topped up with another $1 billion last year.
Unlocking the funding is crucial for the South Asian economy as its foreign exchange reserves have dropped to cover just three weeks of imports.
It said the teams discussed and reviewed the economic and fiscal policies and reforms agenda to accomplish the ninth review.
- Reuters, with additional editing from Alfie Habershon