Islambad . The Pakistan requested that the International Monetary Fund extend its loan program for a year and enhance the $6 billion funding to ease financing difficulties for the south Asian country as a new government stepped in this month.
Miftah Ismail, the nation’s finance minister, said the requests were made during “positive” talks with the fund in Washington for the resumption of loan program. The IMF has “largely agreed” to extend the current program for another year but details would be trashed out during a mission visit to Pakistan next month, he said at a news conference in Washington.
The IMF suspended its loan to Pakistan after political turmoil that led to the ouster of Imran Khan. Aid from the lender will be critical to bolster the country’s finances, after foreign exchange reserves fell to less than two months of import cover.
In a statement, IMF Mission Chief Nathan Porter said both the lender and Pakistan agreed that prompt action is needed to reverse the country’s unfunded subsidies, which have slowed discussions over the unlocking of billions of dollars in aid.
The lender will resume talks with Pakistan next month, according to the IMF statement Sunday.