IMF chief, Pakistan FM meet as Islamabad seeks financial assistance for bailout (Photo- Twitter/@IMFNews)
Pakistani officials on Thursday met the International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde in Indonesia and sought IMF’s assistance to address the mounting balance of payment crisis faced in the country, an official said.
According to reports, the IMF team is likely to visit the Islamabad for talks on a possible bailout of its shaky economy.
“During the meeting, they requested financial assistance from the IMF to help address Pakistan’s economic challenges,” Lagarde said in a statement.
.@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
Pakistan Finance Minister Asad Umar, who is attending the Fund’s annual meeting in Bali, announced earlier this week that the government would seek talks with the IMF on a “stabilisation recovery programme”, adding that Prime Minister Imran Khan endorsed the decision to seek economy assistance from the IMF.
According to sources, Imran Khan’s government needs at least $10-12 billion to meet the current account deficit.
Earlier on Wednesday, PM Imran Khan said, “An IMF team will visit Islamabad in the coming weeks to initiate discussions for a possible IMF-supported economic programme.”
Khan also vowed to steer the country out of a looming balance-of-payments crisis.
Soon after Khan’s new administration took office in August, the government had explored all possible avenues of financing, including loans from friendly countries and Pakistani diaspora community for donations, said sources.
But help has been in short supply and economists’ warnings have grown increasingly urgent, it said.
Pakistan has gone to the IMF several times since the late 1980s. The most recent was in 2013, when Islamabad got a $6.6 billion loan to tackle a similar crisis, according to reports.
(With inputs from agencies)