Washington D.C., 19 July 2022 (TDI): Pakistan Minister for Planning and Development, Ahsan Iqbal, held a meeting with IMF Deputy Managing Director, Antoinette M. Sayeh. The meeting took place at IMF News headquarters.

Pakistan’s Ambassador to the United States, Masood Khan, also accompanied the planning Minister.

The Minister of planning appreciated the recent Staff Level Agreement between the IMF and the government of Pakistan. He also underscored Pakistan’s continued commitment to the Programme.

He further reiterated that the government took difficult decisions as its priority was the economic stability of Pakistan and to lead it to socio-economic development.

Moreover, the Minister highlighted that Pakistan has robust agriculture and related economic sectors. He stressed that despite Pakistan having a very low carbon footprint, it was among the most vulnerable countries due to climate change.

A call for a more comprehensive assistance 

Minister Ahsan Iqbal sought IMF’s assistance to the country’s agriculture sector, primarily to mitigate the impact of climate change.

He further suggested that IMF may assist countries in meeting the UN Sustainable Development Goals. He also stressed that many economies had been affected due to the ongoing Ukraine crisis.

The IMF’s Deputy Managing Director assured that the international lender would continue to play its role in assisting Pakistan in stabilizing its economy.

Pakistan-IMF recent agreement

This month IMF and Pakistan have reached a staff-level agreement. It is based on policies to complete the combined seventh and eighth reviews of the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

As a result of the agreement, $1,177 million will become available to Pakistan. With the total disbursement, the amount will reach $4.2 billion.

Significantly, the agreement is likely to provide much-needed relief to the exchange rate volatility and economic uncertainty.

The policy priorities include stringent measures to reduce the government’s borrowing needs and to introduce power sector reforms that reduce the circular debt.

Conclusively, it provides a proactive monetary policy to bring inflation rates down to more sustainable levels.