Islamabad: International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva on Wednesday said the agreement for the release of the second tranche, amounting to USD 3 billion under the Standby Arrangement (SBA) with Pakistan is expected this week, Dawn reported.
Dawn is a Pakistani English-language newspaper.
Georgieva said: “I expect an agreement of the review to come within this week.”
As per Dawn, Georgieva’s confirmation comes amid reports of the IMF advising Pakistan against creating a group of preferred investors or distortions in the country under the Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC) and to ensure transparency and accountability in its business deals.
The IMF executive board had approved the much-needed nine-month SBA with Pakistan “to support its economic stabilisation program”. The approval had allowed for an immediate disbursement of USD 1.2 billion, with the rest to be phased over the program’s duration — subject to two quarterly reviews.
In case the second quarterly review is successful, it will allow for the release of the second tranche worth USD 710 million, as per Dawn.
The first evaluation of the short-term loan agreement was initiated by the IMF’s technical staff on November 2, which concluded on November 10.
Dawn quoted informed sources as saying the IMF and the Pakistan authorities had covered most of the areas during policy-level discussions and there was a problem area left out.
On Tuesday, the two sides were reported to have had back-and-forth clarifications on the finalisation of the Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP) and were expecting to conclude the talks on a positive note on Wednesday (today), according to Dawn.
The IMF staff mission would then present Pakistan’s case to the executive board for approval of the successful conclusion of the first quarterly review under the nine-month USD 3 billion Standby Arrangement signed in July. This would enable Pakistan to receive the second tranche early next month.
Georgieva said: “The Pakistani authorities, especially the finance minister deserve credit for a very difficult time sticking to the program that they have.”