ISLAMABAD – The Pakistani government has decided to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout to address the mounting balance of payments crisis faced by the South Asian country, Finance Minister Asad Umar announced on Monday.
In a video message, the minister disclosed that Prime Minister Imran Khan had given the go-ahead to hold talks with the IMF for a bailout programme after consulting economic experts and stakeholders.
The premier had on Sunday hinted at approaching the IMF for “bridging loans” during the critical phase the country is passing through. Meanwhile friendly countries are being approached to deposit funds in the State Bank to boost reserves.
This week, the finance minister will lead a Pakistani delegation at the annual meeting of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Bali, Indonesia.
The delegation will leave for Bali today, to attend the meeting taking place on the Indonesian island from October 12 to 14.
Asad Umar will meet IMF officials on the sidelines of the meeting, where he will discuss the challenges confronting the Pakistani economy and the proposed IMF loan programme.
The IMF concluded a consultative visit last week with a warning that Pakistan needed to quickly secure “significant external financing” to stave off a crisis, though it did not suggest who could supply the money.
Finance Minister Umar has said foreign reserves need to be boosted by at least $8 billion.
The IMF-World Bank meeting is an annual summit to discuss global financial and economic issues, including global economic outlook, poverty eradication, and aid effectiveness.
Earlier, the Asian Development Bank (ADB) announced that it will provide $7.1 billion in financing to help Pakistan achieve inclusive and sustainable growth over the next three years.
“ADB plans to significantly increase the country’s sovereign operations to $7.1bn over 3 years,” vice-president Wencai Zhang said in a statement.