US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome calls on Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on May 26, 2023. — Finance Division.

As the cash-strapped nation is making last-ditch efforts to revive the stalled Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar on Friday assured the US Ambassador to Pakistan Donald Blome of Islamabad’s commitment to complete the loan programme.

The development came during a meeting between the finance minister and the US envoy, who called on the former in Islamabad.

During the meeting, Dar shared “deep-rooted historic and durable bilateral relations with the US on economic and trade fronts”, a statement from the Finance Division said.

The finance minister shared economic policies and priorities of the government to address the challenging economic environment and set the economy to stability and growth.

The two sides exchanged views on matters of mutual interest and enhancing the existing bilateral relations between both countries, read the statement. 

Dar informed the US ambassador about the government’s pragmatic plans related to revenues and expenditures for meeting its national as well as international financial obligations.

He shared various economic avenues in which both countries can further deepen their economic relations.

Speaking on the occasion, the US ambassador underscored that both countries enjoy good relations and expressed confidence in the policies and programmes of the government for economic sustainability and socio-economic uplift of the masses.

He extended his support to further promote bilateral economic, investment and trade relations between both countries.

The financial czar thanked the US ambassador and reiterated the desire of the government to further deepen bilateral trade and investment ties with the US.

The government is making last-ditch efforts with the IMF to revive the stalled Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme.

The hopes are diminishing each day mainly because the ongoing programme of $6.5 billion under the EFF will expire on June 30.

Islamabad is still contemplating ways to meet other repayment deadlines as the country has about $3.7 billion in overseas debt due this month and in June against its current foreign exchange reserves of just $4.3 billion.

According to a Financial Times report, the cash-strapped nation is looking towards China to roll over more than $2 billion in debt due next month.

Two senior officials told the publication that Beijing had committed to help the country meet two crucial debt repayments in June worth $2.3 billion by providing fresh funds immediately after Pakistan makes the payments.

“The refinancing of the commercial loans worth $1.3 billion and a Chinese government loan of $1 billion would help Pakistan avert immediate default,” the officials said.

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