ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) Executive Board has approved a $1.1 billion loan for Pakistan as the last tranche under the $3 billion Stand-by Arrangement (SBA), According to the Ministry of Finance sources, the IMF will soon issue an official statement regarding the approval. They further stated that Pakistan is likely to receive the loan payment this week. The funding will be the third and last tranche of a $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) with the IMF, which it secured last summer to avert a sovereign default and which runs out this month. The final tranche was approved after the IMF Executive Board meeting in Washington today that discussed Pakistan’s request for the release of funds.  The global lender has already granted Pakistan $1.9 billion under the agreement.  Today’s development came a day after Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif’s meeting with IMF Managing Director Kristalina Georgieva in Riyadh. In his first meeting with the IMF chief since his re-election, PM Shehbaz discussed Pakistan entering into another IMF programme. It may be noted that the country is seeking a new long-term Extended Fund Facility (EFF) after a current $3 billion Stand-By Arrangement (SBA) expires this month. According to The News, Pakistan has made a formal request to the IMF for seeking next bailout package ranging between $6 to $8 billion under the EFF with possibility of augmentation through climate financing. However, the exact size and time frame will only be determined after evolving consensus on the major contours of the next programme in May 2024. Pakistan has shown its interest and also made a request to dispatch the IMF review mission in May 2024 to firm up details of the next bailout package of three years period under EFF programme.



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