‘IMF did not seek fresh financing of $8bn from Pakistan’

1684069001 IMF did not seek fresh financing of 8bn from Pakistan
IMF headquarters in Washington. —AFP/File
IMF headquarters in Washington. —AFP/File

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) refuted claims made by local news outlets that it had demanded $8 billion of fresh financing from Pakistan to revive the $6.5 billion bailout package. IMF Resident Representative in Pakistan, Esther Pérez Ruiz, clarified that the organization did not make such a request.

Pérez Ruiz added that Pakistan’s external financing requirements have not changed in talks with the IMF regarding bailout funds, and discussions are ongoing regarding a review which would unlock $1.1 billion in financing for the country.

The IMF spokesperson reassured Pakistan’s stakeholders, stating that the organization will continue to support financial assistance for the cash-strapped country. 

This clarification comes in response to reports made by local media outlets, alleging that the lender had requested Pakistan to finance external debt repayments within the next seven months by providing $8 billion after analyzing all projected inflows and outflows from May to December 2023. According to the reports, Pakistan refused this demand, stating that the current bailout programme would terminate in June 2023.

Since February, Pakistan and the IMF have been discussing fiscal policy measures and aiming to resume the stalled funding of $1.1 billion due in November from the $6.5 billion agreed bailout programme in 2019.

The IMF reported on Thursday that the economically troubled Pakistan requires significant additional financing to complete the long-stalled ninth review of the bailout programme. Countries providing help include the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and China.

Meanwhile, the Finance and Revenue Minister, Ishaq Dar, emphasized on Thursday that Pakistan is not going to default, even if the halted loan programme with the IMF is not revived. He urged that spreading rumors about Pakistan defaulting on its debt obligations be avoided.