Pakistan holds bailout talks with IMF in Qatar as economy falters

Doha, Qatar – At a luxury hotel in Qatar’s capital, Pakistani officials are holding talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) as Islamabad seeks the release of more funds from a $6bn bailout package agreed in 2019 to stabilise the country’s faltering economy.

“The team will be in Doha during May 18-25 as part of ongoing discussions with the Pakistani authorities on economic developments and policies to promote macroeconomic stability,” SIA reports quoting an IMF official's statement to Al Jazeera.

At the core of the negotiations are subsidies, especially those on petroleum products which are directly linked to inflation.

The previous Pakistani government led by cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan signed a $6bn bailout package in 2019.

But Islamabad only received $3bn and the programme was not fully implemented because Khan’s government abandoned the agreements to end subsidies, expand the tax net and improve collection.

With Khan now removed from office, the month-old Pakistani government led by Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif is asking the IMF to increase the size and duration of its programme.

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