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Azadi march likely to affect talks with IMF

ISLAMABAD: The current political turmoil can affect talks between Pakistan and IMF authorities scheduled for August 6 to 18th, as Pakistan has entered into fourth review of the $6.8 billion programme with the International Monetary Fund.
Sources in the Finance Ministry privy to Customs Today that the political episode created by Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf and Pakistan Awami Tehreek may endanger the disbursement of $ 55 million tranche to Pakistan as the political situation may have a bearing on the IMF talks to be concluded on August 18. “If the political situation remains so and Pakistani authorities failed to convince IMF on political and economic stability, the fund authorities may request Executive board to stop the disbursement of the fifth tranche which is expected to be received in the first week of September” source added.
On the technical front, it seems difficult for the government team to convince IMF to apply the programme adjuster on the performance indicator of net international reserves (NIR) of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) as Pakistan has failed to achieve the target by a small margin. Also Pakistan has missed the target to appoint a financial adviser for PIA’s restructuring and privatisation for which government has been struggling all along since the programme was activated early last fiscal year.
Sources told that the talks were originally scheduled for July but were delayed after the IMF desired to see a clear road-map that deals with outstanding issues in the areas of energy and privatization, said the officials.

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