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Stamped clearance of two IMF departments required

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ISLAMABAD: The revival of USD six billion stalled IMF program for Pakistan hinges upon stamped clearance of IMF’s two departments known as Strategy, Policy and Review Department and Legal Department before forwarding it in front of the Fund’s Executive Board.

Top official sources told The News in background discussions that the IMF’s Executive Board grants approval after getting clearance of staff-level agreement and these two important departments.

The IMF’s Strategy, Policy, and Review Department (SPRD) is known as a Policeman within the staff of the Fund. Pakistan’s incumbent Governor State Bank of Pakistan Dr Reza Baqir had also served in this department during his career working in the IMF, so he knew how this SPRD and Legal Department dealt with the cases before sending them in front of the IMF Executive Board.

“There is no need for a telephone call to the IMF’s managing director,” the Adviser to PM on Finance Shaukat Tarin said in a brief chat on Monday when he was asked whether there was a need for PM Imran Khan’s telephonic call to the IMF’s Managing Director (MD).

“Now the ball is in the court of the IMF and the two departments are currently scrutinising whole details before granting stamped approval after which the staff-level agreement will be made public and placed before the IMF’s Executive Board for approving the sixth review under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF),” top official sources confirmed while talking to The News here on Monday.

Now the outstanding issue is beyond the jurisdiction of IMF staff and Mission Chief working in Pakistan on behalf of the IMF. They have reported all issues and just waiting for their approval. If these two departments did not clear it, the approval of the sixth review may take a longer period for finding out a settlement.

It is relevant to mention here that the Adviser to PM on Finance Shaukat Tarin had publicly stated last week that the IMF’s agreement was expected in one or two days but last week passed without achieving any success. Now both the IMF and Ministry of Finance are preferring to remain silent knowing that both sides had done their share of work and the IMF staff reported back all details and just waiting for clearance of these two departments.


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