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IMF mission due today to review release of second tranche

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has granted No Objection Certificate (NOC) for visiting IMF review mission to Pakistan for holding parleys under $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) from October 28 to November 11, 2019.

Despite JUI-F Azadi March, Pakistani authorities convinced the IMF management to dispatch its staff review mission to Islamabad. After hectic consultation the IMF finally dispatched its team that would now reach Islamabad on Sunday (today). However, the talks will start from Monday (tomorrow) between the two sides.

“The IMF’s headquarters in Washington DC has approved the dispatching of a review mission to Pakistan for the next two weeks.

We are hopeful that the mission will be able to arrive safely and conduct its work effectively. We are monitoring the situation regularly”, the IMF official said when The News contacted on Saturday afternoon. Pakistan is expecting completion of first review and release of second tranche worth around $451 million or 328 million SDRs (Special Drawing Rights) by December this year with subject to approval of the Fund’s Executive Board.

Pakistani authorities are confident about smooth sailing in first review but the sources still claimed that Islamabad would have to seek certain waivers on structural benchmark and performance criteria to qualify for the release of second tranche after successful completion of first review.

After staying for two weeks, the IMF staff in case of striking staff level agreement would circulate its staff report among the Board members in December and in the same month the IMF’s Executive Board would take decision on release of second tranche around $451 million.

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