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IMF, Pakistan resume talks to complete second review of bailout

SAMAA | - Posted: May 28, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
SAMAA |
Posted: May 28, 2020 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
IMF, Pakistan resume talks to complete second review of bailout

Lassi being prepared in Isalamabad's Aabpara market as the lockdown lifted on May 27, 2020. Street vendors have been hard hit by the slump in the economy. Photo: Online

The IMF has gone back to the table with Pakistan to complete the second review of the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (bailout) program, which was paused after coronavirus chocked the country’s already sluggish economy.

“We hope to bring it to a positive conclusion as soon as possible,” the IMF said in a statement. This would be the second review of the EFF program.

The Washington-based lender said discussions were paused and there was a focus on the rapid financing instrument, to help Pakistan combat COVID-19. The IMF Executive Board had approved $1.4 billion one month ago so the country could fight the contagion and its economic implications.

It said technical discussions continue with the authorities on the EFF now. Pakistan had successfully completed the first review of the EFF program last year. Following the review, the IMF dispatched a second tranche of $452 million under the 39-month bailout program, which was signed on July 1, 2019. 

The talks paused ahead of the second review in April, which delayed the third tranche of $450 million. The country has so far received $1.9 billion under the program.

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