Bailout for Pakistan: Eyebrows raised over rare IMF move to present report to board before loan talks


ISLAMABAD: For the first time in the country’s history, the IMF has preferred to make it public that the mission would prepare a report for presenting before its Executive Board for making a final decision based on preliminary findings on Pakistan’s request for striking a fresh bailout package.

In the past, it was never done by the IMF in case of Pakistan; the assessment of the mission was shared with the management and Board of the Fund in a confidential manner but it was never made public.

This time this practice was changed altogether and it was quite unique that the IMF made clear that with the approval of Fund management, the mission would prepare a report for the Executive Board for discussion and decision in order to kickstart any formal negotiations with Pakistani authorities for striking any loan deal. Usually, after the IMF mission, both sides used to vet the statement or any staff report. If it has been done this time also, there is no official version available on it.

This scribe sent out questions to the minister for finance, federal secretary of finance and the spokesman for the Ministry of Finance but got no reply.

The IMF states publicly that “End-of-Mission press releases include statements of IMF staff teams that convey preliminary findings after a visit to a country. The views expressed in this statement are those of the IMF staff and do not necessarily represent the views of the IMF’s Executive Board.

“Based on the preliminary findings of this mission, staff will prepare a report that, subject to management approval, will be presented to the IMF’s Executive Board for discussion and decision,” it added.

This part of public disclosure clearly demonstrates that the IMF management and then its Executive Board would take decision on Pakistan’s request for a new programme on the basis of preliminary findings of the mission which recently visited Islamabad for holding preliminary talks.__The News