IMF hints at combining 9th and 10th reviews

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The IMF has indicated submitting the 9th and 10th reviews under the $6.5 billion extended fund facility, but the two sides so far failed to reach a comprehensive agreement on budget data for the upcoming budget.

The IMF and the Pakistani side held a virtual round on Monday evening to break the deadlock for the resumption of the stalled fund program under the EFF, which expires on June 30, 2023.

As per reports, the Pakistani side wanted to sign a staff-level agreement so that the 9th review can be completed as an independent standalone, but the IMF indicated to submit the 9th and 10th reviews.

Pakistan wanted the Staff Level Agreement (SLA) to be signed to complete the 9th review, but the IMF indicated combining the 9th and 10th reviews.

So far, the two sides had not been able to reach a comprehensive agreement on budget data and the chances of getting imf approval on such a proposed expansion budget for 2023-24 are slim, the source told The News on Monday.

Minister of State for Finance Dr. Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, SAPM for Finance Tariq Bajwa, SAPM for Revenue Tariq Pasha, Secretary Finance, Special Secretary Finance, and other senior officials of the government attended the meeting.

Finance Minister Ishaq Dar did not attend the virtual meeting with the IMF mission.

This was the first virtual meeting after sharing the framework of the 2023-24 budget and the revised estimates for 2022-23, on which the IMF sought various clarifications over the past week, a senior official said.