This file photo taken on January 26, 2022, shows the seal for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington, DC. — AFP

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board meeting is expected to discuss Pakistan’s request to release the $1.1 billion last tranche of the Stand-by Arrangement (SBA) today, Geo News reported citing the Ministry of Finance sources.

The ministry sources said the third and final tranche is mostly likely to be approved provided that the request is floated before the board as the IMF delegation has made its recommendation in this regard.

The sources said, “The global lender has already granted $1.9 billion under the agreement and Pakistan is waiting to receive the third tranche now.”

They added that staying within the agreement, Pakistan had implemented the targets agreed with the IMF.

The sources further said that the economic team would hold talks with the Washington-based lender for a new loan programme in May.

The IMF delegation will arrive in Pakistan around mid-May for negotiations under the new loan programme as Pakistan is seeking a new long-term Extended Fund Facility (EFF) after a current $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA).

PM meets IMF chief

On the sidelines of the World Economic Forum Special Meeting in Riyadh, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif on Sunday discussed new loan agreement with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva.

In his first meeting with the IMF chief since his re-election, PM Shehbaz reiterated his government’s commitment to put Pakistan’s economy back on track, according to a statement issued by the PM Office.

“Both sides also discussed Pakistan entering into another IMF programme to ensure that the gains made in the past year were consolidated and its economic growth trajectory remained positive,” the statement added.

PM Shehbaz thanked IMF chief Georgieva for her support to Pakistan in securing the $3 billion SBA from the international lender last year that was now nearing its completion.

The IMF chief appreciated the leadership of PM Shehbaz for timely securing SBA last year, as per the statement.

During the meeting, the prime minister said that he had directed his financial team, led by Finance Minister Muhammad Aurangzeb, to carry out structural reforms, ensure strict fiscal discipline and pursue prudent policies that would ensure macro-economic stability and sustained economic growth.

The IMF MD shared her institution’s perspective on the ongoing programme with the premier, including the review process.

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