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Pakistan-IMF talks continue after Tarin leaves US

Finance Advisor to accompany Imran Khan on Saudi Arabia visit

SAMAA | - Posted: Oct 22, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago
Posted: Oct 22, 2021 | Last Updated: 1 month ago

A Pakistani team headed by Finance Secretary Yousaf Khan continues to engage in talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in Washington after Shaukat Tarin, the advisor to PM on finance and revenue, left for Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Tarin’s decision to leave before concluding the talks has led to rumours and has deepened uncertainty over the future of the IMF programme for Pakistan.

However, officials at the Finance Ministry in Islamabad have told SAMAA Digital that Tarin had to leave because he will be part of Prime Minister Imran Khan’s entourage on his visit to Saudi Arabia.

“Good progress is expected in one to two days,” said the Finance Ministry officials who requested not to be named.

Shaukat Tarin is not expected to return to Washington from Saudi Arabia. He will travel back to Pakistan on Monday, the officials said.

The talks between Pakistan and the IMF began on October 4 to complete the 6th review of the IMF programme.

However, the October 15 deadline ended without an agreement between the parties. The talks were extended beyond the deadline earlier this week. Meanwhile, Tarin had left for New York. He returned after the discussion resumed.

Pakistani officials expected the renewed talks to conclude by Tuesday, but they continued into Thursday.

The deadlock in the talks reportedly stems from the IMF’s demand that Pakistan further slash subsidies and increase electricity tariffs.

Reports say Tarin was expected to address a press conference in Washington to brief journalists about the outcome of the talks. However, the press conference has been cancelled.

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