On Tuesday, talks between Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to obtain a staff-level agreement on the ninth review of the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) began.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is in head of the Pakistani side, while Nathen Porter is in command of the IMF review team, as the cash-strapped government begins new initiatives to wrap up the dragged-out ninth review. On Monday, the IMF evaluation team landed in Islamabad.
With the visiting review delegation, Pakistan is anticipated to discuss its plan for implementing additional revenue-generating measures.
Analysts have referred to the technical level negotiations as being the “toughest” because the Fund has refused to budge on the conditions it set down for the revival of the lending facility.
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The News reports that Pakistan is going through a serious economic crisis, with the value of its currency plummeting, inflation soaring, and a power shortage. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif fought the IMF’s demands for tax rises and subsidy reductions for months out of fear of reaction before the forthcoming elections in October.
Islamabad has started to buckle under pressure recently, though, as the possibility of national bankruptcy grows and no friendly countries are prepared to provide less drastic bailouts.
Government restrictions on the rupee were loosened in order to handle a burgeoning black market for US dollars, which caused the rupee to plunge to record lows. Additionally, the price of deceptively cheap gasoline has gone u