Talks with IMF on ninth review delayed further.

ISLAMABAD -- Pakistan and the International Monetary Fund (IMF) had another round of engagement on Thursday but could not finalise a schedule for formal talks on the overdue ninth review of a $7 billion loan programme amid a lack of clarity on flood-related financial requirements for this fiscal year and declining revenue stream in the wake of import controls.

'Dates for the ninth review could not be finalised,' a senior official told Dawn after Finance Minister Ishaq Dar had an online meeting with IMF's mission chief to Pakistan, Nathan Porter, on Thursday.

Mr Dar reiterated the government's commitment to 'successfully completing the IMF programme', the finance ministry said in a statement, apparently to pacify jittery markets.

The talks, originally due in the last week of October, were rescheduled to Nov 3 and then kept on facing delays following gaps in estimates by the two sides.

Govt fails to finalise schedule amid lack of clarity on flood-related financial requirements, declining revenue

'It was agreed that expenditure estimates for flood-related humanitarian assistance during the current year will be firmed up along with estimates of priority rehabilitation expenditure,' the finance ministry said, adding that the IMF indicated its willingness to sympathetically view the targeted assistance for poor and vulnerable citizens, especially those affected by recent flooding.

The two sides discussed the progress made with the ongoing IMF programme, particularly the impact of floods on the macroeconomic framework and targets for the current year.

'In this regard, engagement at the technical level shall be expeditiously concluded for proceeding with the 9th review,' the statement said.

Under the rules of the game, all the fiscal and monetary policy numbers (both past and future) are agreed upon at the technical level so that minor adjustments can be made at the policy level and then taken to the executive board of the IMF for approval.

Pakistan would now represent all flood-related expenditures in the budget, along with specific heads and schedules of spending.

The sources said a...

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