Pakistan to be reviewed by IMF team from March 14 to 18

As per a recent report, a special team from the IMF will visit Pakistan between March 14 - 18.
Pakistan to be reviewed by IMF team from March 14 to 18

Aurangzeb, who became the finance minister on Monday, stated that his top priority was to start negotiations with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington.

"No debates, no wasting time — just a strong commitment to getting things done," the professional banker told the Dawn newspaper after being sworn in at the President's House.

The new Pakistan government, led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, took office last week after the inconclusive elections.

Former Karachi-based Habib Bank Ltd chief Aurangzeb is now the third banker to hold the position of finance minister in the country, following Shaukat Aziz and Shaukat Tarin.

His appointment marks a change from the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz, which usually had Ishaq Dar, a confidant of the Sharif family, as the economy's chief on four occasions.

The IMF plans to send its team to Pakistan to hold talks before releasing the third tranche of its already agreed USD 3 billion assistance.

The team is expected to arrive by Wednesday night and will hold talks with officials during its stay from March 14-18.

Aurangzeb emphasized that Pakistan would continue discussions with IMF officials to secure the release of the final tranche of the soon-to-expire USD 3 billion loan package.

He credited Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for successfully negotiating this deal during his 16-month tenure leading the previous Pakistan Democratic Movement government.

"If this deal hadn't been secured, the current economic situation would have been very different," he remarked.

The standby agreement, signed last year, is set to expire next month, and Pakistan urgently needs another loan to avoid default.

Regarding the need for a new agreement with the IMF, Aurangzeb mentioned that his team was ready to start discussions for a fresh three-year arrangement to secure a substantial loan, with a minimum value of USD 6 billion.