ISLAMABAD - The mission of International Monetary Fund (IMF) would arrive in Pakistan next week to hold talks for the bailout package as requested by Islamabad to avert balance of payment crisis.

Pakistan’s authorities are working on Memorandum of Economic and Financial Policies (MEFP), which would be shared with IMF delegation. “The IMF is sending a mission to Islamabad on Nov 7 to launch financing talks with Pakistan, which formally requested an IMF bailout program during the fund’s annual meetings in Indonesia in October,” said Gerry Rice, Spokesperson and Director of the IMF Communications Department.

He further said talks are aimed at reaching a staff-level agreement, which would be submitted to the IMF’s executive board for consideration, Rice said. However, he did not offer a timetable for reaching such a staff-level agreement with Pakistan.

Sources informed that Pakistan is working on MEFP as it recently approved the Privatisation policy and increase the power prices to control the circular debt of the country. The Cabinet Committee on Privatization under the chair of Finance Minister Asad Umar has approved to privatize SME Bank Ltd, First Women Bank Ltd, Jinnah Convention Centre, Islamabad, Lakhra Coal Development Company and Services International Hotel, Lahore. The Committee gave the go-ahead to Privatization Division to undertake the process for privatization of newly established 1233 MW Balloki Power Plant and the 1230 MW Haveli Bahadur Power Plant.

The government had already approved up to 15 percent increase in the electricity tariff but guarded the poor consumers against its direct impact. Similarly, the government had also devalued the local currency by Rs 10 to Rs134.