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IMF Deal Expected In Next 24 Hours: Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar

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Islamabad [Pakistan]: Pakistan Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has said a staff-level agreement for a crucial bailout deal with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is “very close” and expected in the next 24 hours, Dawn reported.

Dawn is a Pakistani English-language newspaper. The Pakistan government is racing against time to unlock at least USD 1.1 billion under the lender’s ninth review of a USD 6.5-billion Extended Fund Facility agreed in 2019. The programme expires on Friday.

“We are very close to signing a staff-level agreement with the IMF. I think it should come sometime tonight or maximum within 24 hours … We have finalised everything,” Dar told Reuters late on Thursday, according to Dawn.

The agreement, which would be subject to approval by the IMF board, has faced an eight-month delay.

The funds under discussion would offer some respite amid an acute balance of payments crisis and falling foreign exchange reserves, as per Dawn.

A total of USD 4 billion has already been released. Dar had earlier told the media that the government was working on a mechanism to try to unlock the full USD 2.5 billion pending under the IMF programme.

It was unclear what portion of the funds would be released in the announcement he expected in the next 24 hours, as per Dawn.

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