The International Monetary Fund (IMF) Executive Board meeting scheduled for March 1 (today) will not consider approval of the next tranche for Pakistan as the ninth review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF) programme remains pending.
According to the IMF Executive Board calendar available on its website, the next meeting is scheduled for March 6 and then again on March 8, 2023; however Pakistan is not on the agenda though it could be added in the event that the ninth review is declared a success.
As per the IMF Staff report “Pakistan: Seventh, and Eighth Reviews of the extended arrangement”, the proposed schedule for ninth review was November 3, 2022 but was delayed due to failure of the government to implement agreed time bound conditions and structural benchmarks, as well as, violation of the spirit of the agreed seventh/ eighth review particularly with respect to controlling the rupee rate artificially without the necessary reserves to intervene in the market and extending Rs 110 billion unfunded electricity subsidy to exporters.
Well informed sources in the Ministry of Finance, on condition of anonymity, told this correspondent of their serious concerns over the three week leave of Minister of State for Finance Ayesha Ghaus Pasha, reportedly one of the key players in the negotiations with the Fund that has been approved by the Prime Minister.
The tenth review’s schedule as per the seventh/ eighth review documents was February 3, 2023, already three weeks and a half overdue.