ISLAMABAD - Pakistan, on Thursday, thanked International Monetary Fund (IMF) for its support of US$ 1.386 billion under the Rapid Financing Instrument to address the socioeconomic impact of the COVID-19 outbreak.

Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiar, in a meeting with Resident Representative of International Monetary Fund in Pakistan, appreciated and thanked IMF for its support. The Minister highlighted that Government of Pakistan and IMF were working together for much needed structural reforms for fiscal consolidation and long-term sustainable growth.

He exchanged his views on looming global economic crisis and negative impact on world communities due to the pandemic and cumulative global response to combat COVID shock. He expressed the hope that IMF and Pakistan would collaborate to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on regular basis and would address the emerging situation accordingly. while keeping focus on social safety nets for vulnerable section of the society to navigate through the crucial times. Ms. Teresa Daban Sanchez, Resident Representative of IMF concurred with the views of honourable Minister and said that IMF would continue to cooperate with Pakistan for sustainable economic growth in future.

Later, Federal Minister for Economic Affairs Makhdum Khusro Bakhtiar held a video conference with Mr. Reza Baqir, Governor State Bank of Pakistan at Ministry of Economic Affairs this afternoon. Senior officers of the Ministry also attended the virtual meeting.

The meeting discussed the economy and financial health of the country amidst the pandemic. The minister laid stress on efficient economic relief to the masses especially the vulnerable segment of the society to mitigate the socioeconomic impact of the pandemic. The minister also appreciated the key steps taken by SBP to support the public and small business amid economic crunch.

The Minister made deliberations with Governor SBP on Prime Minister's Global Initiative on Debt Relief to coordinate with international community for compact economic response. The meeting also discussed the initial relief package of US $ 1.4 billion by the IMF.

The participants of the meeting agreed that the initiaticve would aim to lay ground for urgent debt relief to the developing countries and that enhanced fiscal capacity would be fundamental in recovering from the ongoing crises.

At the conclusion of the meeting, Governor SBP lauded the efforts of the Ministry to coordinate with international donors for their assistance to mitigate the socio-economic impact of the pandemic in the country.