IMF reiterates ready support for Pakistan


DUBAI -- International Monetary Fund (IMF) Managing Director Christine Lagarde Sunday (February 10) conferred with Prime Minister Imran Khan on economic matters and assured him that the IMF stands ready to support his country.

The meeting took place on the sidelines of the World Government Summit in Dubai, hosted by the United Arab Emirates, both the IMF and Khan's office said.

"I reiterated that the IMF stands ready to support Pakistan," Lagarde said in a statement following meeting Khan.

A team from the IMF visited Pakistan in November to discuss a possible bailout with officials, though the talks ended without agreement. Talks are still proceeding on the idea.

Pakistan -- which has borrowed from the IMF repeatedly since the late 1980s -- is facing a balance of payments crisis.

"I also highlighted that decisive policies and a strong package of economic reforms would enable Pakistan to restore the resilience of its economy and lay the foundations for stronger and more inclusive growth," said Lagarde, calling the meeting "good and constructive".

Pakistan last received an IMF bailout in 2013 of $6.6 billion (Rs. 992 billion).

The Pakistani economy is likely to grow between 4.0 and 4.5% for the fiscal year ending in June, compared to 5.8% growth in the previous fiscal year, suggest IMF and World Bank forecasts.

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