Islamabad, 7 January 2023 (TDI): The Prime Minister of Pakistan, Shehbaz Sharif held a telephone conversation with the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Kristalina Georgieva on Friday.

The officials discussed the financial crisis Pakistan is going through and the Managing Director reiterated her commitment to helping Pakistan in this difficult period.

Sharif assured the Managing Director that Pakistan is committed to successfully completing the ongoing IMF program. He thanked Kristalina Georgieva for her understanding and empathy for Pakistan’s challenges.

Also read: Pakistan pledges to pay foreign debt on time

Kristalina also conveyed her profound sorrow and worry at the losses of life and property caused by the most recent floods. The Prime Minister thanked the Managing Director for her concern about the flood aftermath in Pakistan.

He invited Kristalina to attend the Climate Resilient Pakistan Conference. The conference will take place in Geneva on 9th January, co-chaired by Pakistan and the United Nations (UN).

In return, Kristalina thanked the Prime Minister for the invitation but mentioned that due to IMF Board meetings on Monday and Tuesday, she would only be able to attend virtually.

IMF team to visit Pakistan

Shehbaz on Friday stated that an IMF delegation would visit Pakistan in two or three days to take up and finalize the ninth review of the economy in order to unblock a $1.1 billion bailout tranche.

He revealed the news while addressing the inaugural ceremony of Hazara Electric Supply Company (HESC).

The Premier stated that he requested Georgieva to send a delegation to Pakistan to complete the ninth review of the IMF program. “She said an IMF team would be in the country in two to three days,” Sharif informed.

The Financial situation of Pakistan

Pakistan’s foreign reserves fell to their lowest level since April 2014 on Thursday. The State Bank of Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves were alarmingly low at 5.58 billion.

According to experts, Pakistan’s import cover has shrunk to less than a month. In these trying times, the country desperately needs valuable foreign exchange reserves not only to pay off its debts but also to finance its imports.

Also read: IMF urges decisive actions by Central Bank

As of now, the government has been unable to secure bilateral loans, and the resumption of the IMF program appears to be the only way forward to break the forex inflow deadlock.

According to the Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, the delay in the IMF’s 9th review was caused by the government’s unsatisfactory assessment of the flood rehabilitation program.