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IMF postpones 6th review of Pakistan loan, again

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ISLAMABAD:-The International Monetary Fund has postponed its sixth meeting to review steps taken by the Pakistani government to implement its demands.

The session, which was scheduled for January 28, will now be held on February 2, according to IMF.

This is the second time the meeting has been called off. IMF was first supposed to review the Pakistan loan programme on January 12. It was postponed on request of the government because the National Assembly was yet to pass the supplementary finance bill 2021 (mini-budget).

Loan programme

The board will approve a $1 billion loan tranche for Pakistan if it finds that steps such as the passage of the mini-budget and a bill to grant more autonomy to the State Bank of Pakistan are satisfactory.

In November, a finance ministry delegation concluded a staff-level agreement with the IMF team after protracted talks in Washington.

Under the agreement, Pakistan has increased power tariffs and has promised to jack up the petroleum development levy to Rs30 per litre. It has also withdrawn tax exemptions of Rs343 billion and almost awarded greater autonomy to the central bank, under the agreement.

The SBP amendment bill was passed by the National Assembly last week and has been tabled in the Senate, where it would be put to a vote before the IMF executive board meeting.

Federal Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry on Tuesday told a press conference that the government will soon get the bill passed from the Senate as well.


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