Geneva, 10 January 2023 (TDI): Finance Minister of Pakistan, Ishaq Dar, held an official meeting with the delegation of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Geneva, on Monday.

The meeting was arranged on the sidelines of the International Conference on Climate Resilient Pakistan co-hosted in Geneva by the United Nations (UN) and the Pakistan government.

Highlights of the meeting

The meeting took place between Ishaq Dar and the IMF Mission Chief to Pakistan Nathan Porter. The officials discussed challenges to regional economies in the wake of Climate change.

A timeline and financing plan for the rebuilding effort was a sticking point in talks to clear the ninth review. It will release $1.1 billion in IMF funds as well as other international funding.

According to the Finance Ministry of Pakistan, Ishaq Dar reiterated the commitment to complete the Fund program immediately.

The IMF has yet to approve the release of $1.1 billion that was supposed to be paid out in November of last year. It leaves Pakistan with only enough foreign exchange reserves to cover one month’s imports.

Also read: Pakistan seeks $16 billion to rebuild flood-hit areas at UN Conference

Dar has recently criticized the IMF publicly while claiming that the lender was behaving “abnormally” in its dealings with Pakistan, which entered the $7 billion bailout program in 2019.

Additionally, Prime Minister Shehbaz also requested a pause in the IMF’s demands for economic reforms before releasing additional financial aid. He said that the country is still working to rebuild after devastating floods.

Shehbaz said he was attempting to persuade the IMF to give Islamabad some breathing room as it deals with the “nightmarish” situation.

Pakistan committed to its international obligations

During his address at the climate conference, Ishaq Dar said that Pakistan is committed to its international obligations. He claimed that the country was on track with its macroeconomic fiscal agenda.

In this vein, Dar added, “Right now, Pakistan is facing challenges on account of additional outlays, incurred and projected for the flood-related rescue and rehabilitation needs.”

Also read: Pakistan pledges to complete ongoing IMF program

“Pakistan is carrying out the necessary fiscal reforms. We believe the country urgently needs short-term assistance as we navigate a number of challenges.” The Finance Minister reiterated.