The mission chief of the International Monetary Fund has arrived in Pakistan, according to the Ministry of Finance.
Ernesto Ramirez Rigo will hold meetings with Finance Minister Asad Umar, State Bank employees, finance secretary and other officials.
He will be staying in Pakistan for two days. It is expected that Pakistan’s agreement with the IMF will get a final shape in a spring meeting scheduled in Washington next month.
The government is hoping for a $6 billion bailout package from the new chief.
IMF wants Pakistan to cut fiscal deficits, reduce losses of state-run companies, a market-driven exchange rate and a broadened tax base, the finance ministry source said.
Pakistan and the IMF are no strangers. Since 1958, they have made 21 agreements for loans.
The IMF is an international organisation of 189 countries working on monetary cooperation and international monetary stability. It helps member countries in three ways:
- Economic surveillance — monitoring the economic and financial policies of its 189 member countries.
- Lending — providing loans to member countries facing some degree of economic crises.
- Capacity building — modernizing member country economic policies and institutions, and training their people
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.