Pakistan has formally requested the International Monetary Fund for financial assistance.
Christine Lagarde, the managing director and chairperson of the IMF, confirmed on Thursday that she met Pakistani officials including Finance Minister Asad Umar and State Bank Governor Tariq Bajwa.
An IMF delegation will visit Pakistan in the coming weeks to discuss a possible IMF support economic programme.
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This comes days after Prime Minister Imran Khan gave the green signal to approach the IMF for a bailout package.
.@Lagarde: I met today with #Pakistan’s Finance Minister @Asad_Umar and his team, who requested our financial assistance to address Pakistan’s economic challenges. IMF team to visit Islamabad in the coming weeks to discuss a possible IMF-supported program https://t.co/YS7EsC2gcE pic.twitter.com/mlyRGAVFcP
— IMF (@IMFNews) October 11, 2018
Finance Minister Umar said that the country has no choice but to go to the IMF. “We will have to take a loan to support the falling economy.” The minister said that Pakistan will have to make tough decisions to fix the economy.
For weeks analysts have warned that a new current account crisis could undermine Pakistan’s currency and its ability to repay billions in debts or purchase imports.
Pakistan has gone to the IMF repeatedly since the late 1980s. The last time was in 2013, when Islamabad got a $6.6 billion loan to tackle an economic crisis. However, there are fears that the terms of any new loan will be more stringent than those in 2013, due to tense relations with the US, the lender’s biggest donor.