IMF made 'considerable progress' in talks with Pakistan in Qatar

IMF made 'considerable progress' in talks with Pakistan in Qatar
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The IMF made progress during meetings with Pakistan in Doha, which were aimed at reaching an agreement on policies and reforms, according to the IMF.
The two sides held 'highly constructive discussions', according to IMF mission chief Nathan Porter [Getty]

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has made considerable progress in meetings with Pakistani authorities in Doha, Qatar from May 18-25 aimed at reaching agreement on policies and reforms, the IMF said in a statement on Wednesday.

IMF mission chief Nathan Porter said the two sides held "highly constructive discussions," and agreed on the need to continue to address high inflation and elevated fiscal and current account deficits.

Porter said Pakistan had deviated from policies agreed in the last review under its Extended Fund Facility programme with the IMF, but IMF officials emphasised the urgency of removing fuel and energy subsidies to get back on track.

Pakistan has been rocked by instability since the US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2020, which led to an upsurge in militancy in border areas.

While the security situation is now smoother, the country has also suffered political deadlock - particularly after the downfall of former Prime Minister Imran Khan - and economic difficulties.

The import-reliant country has been hit by an increase in energy prices, that has worsened since the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February.

(Reuters)