Pakistani premier to meet IMF chief for talks on bailout
ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan met International Monetary Fund (IMF) chief Christine Lagarde in Dubai on Sunday for talks on issues which have held up bailout negotiations.
Pakistan is seeking its 13th bailout since the late 1980s to deal with a current account deficit that threatens to trigger a balance of payments crisis, but talks have been delayed by difficulties in reconciling IMF reform demands with Islamabad’s fears the push is too drastic and could hurt economic growth. Information minister Fawad Chaudhry told Reuters Khan will meet IMF managing director Christine Lagarde on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai. “This will give us a chance to understand the IMF views and we will be able to give our version to (Lagarde),” said Chaudhry, who is accompanying Khan to Dubai along with Finance Minister Asad Umar.
Chaudhry said Pakistan wants any agreed bailout package, which would be the country’s second IMF bailout since 2013, to be the nation’s last such economic rescue by the IMF. Talks were to conclude in November but they have been delayed.