Pakistan, IMF finally reach consensus to resume bailout package

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Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Thursday reached a consensus on pending issues to resume a $6.5 billion bailout package, crucial funding for a country facing a balance-of-payments crisis, a private TV channel reported.

The IMF mission has been in Islamabad since 31 January to conclude the ninth review of the economy and unlock the next tranche of its loan. It was looking to sort out concerns over fiscal policy that have stalled the release of more than $1 billion from a $6.5 billion bailout package signed in 2019.

The sources, familiar with the development, said that a meeting took place between Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif and the IMF delegation, where the mission informed the premier about the agreement.

The prime minister, who interacted with the Fund officials in Islamabad via video link from Lahore, approved the agreement, the sources added.

The development comes hours after Minister for Finance and Revenue Ishaq Dar said negotiations between Pakistan and the Fund were “on track” and “we will announce good news soon.”

On condition of anonymity, sources said that power sector and primary balance remained major issues during technical-level talks.

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