On eve of IMF talks, Pakistan's finance minister says balance of payments crisis over

File photo of Pakistan finance minister Asad Umar. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team New Delhi, Delhi, India Nov 06, 2018, 08.36 PM (IST)

Pakistan's finance minister said on Tuesday his country's balance of payments crisis was over, a day before a team from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is due to arrive to discuss a potential aid package.

Asad Umar said a combined $6 billion of Saudi money and promised funds from China would cover a projected $12 billion shortfall in foreign currency to service Pakistan's debt.

"So, Pakistan’s immediate balance of payment crises is over. That I can tell you categorically that now we don’t have anymore a balance of payment crises," he told a news briefing, without mentioning the IMF.

The discussion on Pakistan's multibillion-dollar bailout application would begin on Wednesday, PTI had reported. 

Last month, Pakistan Finance Minister Asad Umar had made a formal request for financial assistance from the IMF.

"We expect those discussions to begin on November the 7th. An IMF staff mission will go to Islamabad and initiate discussions with the authorities," IMF Director of Communications Gerry Rice was quoted as saying by PTI.

"The objectives of that program is to help stabilise the Pakistan economy, put in place the preconditions for sustained inclusive growth," Rice said, adding that the modalities of that would be announced once the IMF and Pakistan have reached a staff-level agreement.

Once it is reached, Rice elaborated that they would go forward to IMF Board for the formal approval of the program.

(With inputs from news agencies)

Story highlights

Asad Umar said a combined $6 billion of Saudi money and promised funds from China would cover a projected $12 billion shortfall in foreign currency to service Pakistan's debt.