ISLAMABAD (Eshfak Mughal):- The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has further delayed its Executive Board meeting to 2nd Feb on the request of Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin.

The IMF Executive Board meeting was rescheduled on 28 January 2022 to review sixth Review meeting of Pakistan for revival of $6 billion loan program which was stalled on last year.

The IMF has again rescheduled the meeting and extended its date from 28th Jan to 2 Feb on the special request of Pakistan, sources said the scribe.

The IMF website, which lists its Executive Board Calendar, showed that the discussion of “2021 Article IV Consultation, Sixth Review Under the Extended Arrangement Under the Extended Fund Facility, and Requests for Waivers of Nonobservance of Performance Criteria and Rephasing of Access” would be taken up on 2 February 2022.

Initially adjourned for 12 January 2022, the IMF’s Executive Board has once again rescheduled Pakistan’s case for the completion of the sixth review after the Ministry of Finance formally requested the global lender to postpone the approval of the review until either the end of January 2022 or early February.

Sources said the Federal Minister for Finance and Revenue, Shaukat Tarin, reached out to the global lender over the delayed approval of the SBP Amendment Bill 2021, one of the two prior conditions for the review. The bill was earlier passed by the National Assembly on 14 January.

Currently, the Bill is pending in Senate of Pakistan and meeting of the Senate Standing Committee on Finance and Revenue of Senate of Pakistan has been called on 27 January to review the bill. The Govt officials expecting that the Committee will likely to pass the bill during the same sitting. This is the main reason for requesting to further delay the Board meeting by Pakistan as it was question that the opposition dominant Finance Committee will pass it in one sitting.

Pakistani authorities and IMF staff had reached a staff-level agreement on policies and reforms needed to complete the sixth review under the $6 billion Extended Fund Facility in November last year.

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