ISLAMABAD - Crucial talks between Pakistan and International Monetary Fund (IMF) would start from coming Wednesday in Dubai wherein Islamabad would try to impress the Fund on the economic situation of the country for getting two tranches worth of $1.1 billion.

“The talks will start from October 29 (Wednesday) in Dubai”, said Dr Waqar Masood Secretary Finance while talking to The Nation. The talks would likely to continue for ten days, starting from October 29 to November 7. Apart from discussing pending issues of the fourth economic review, both sides would hold fifth review of the economic situation of the country during first quarter (July-September) of the ongoing financial year 2014-15. The upcoming talks would decide the fate of the IMF’s programme, as the country already failed to satisfy the Fund on the fourth economic review that delayed the disbursement of fifth tranche.

However, on the sidelines of the IMF/WB’s annual meeting held in Washington DC in mid of October, Pakistan’s Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar and the Fund’s mission chief Jeffery Franks agreed to club the fourth and fifth tranches worth of $1.1 billion under the $6.67 billion three-year Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

The retreat will allow Pakistan to receive two tranches amounting to a total $1.1 billion by December this year, subject to implementation of all outstanding conditions set for the period of April-June and July-September.

Pakistan and IMF held negotiations for the fourth economic review in Dubai in August this year. However, Finance Minister Senator Ishaq Dar blamed the political uncertainty caused due to the sit-ins of PTI and PAT responsible for the delay in materialising of fifth tranche. Pakistan failed to fulfill the IMF’s conditions including increasing power tariff by seven percent, privatisation of OGDCL shares and auction of Sukuk bonds.

Sources informed that Pakistan might face tough time from the IMF officials on not increasing power tariff as directed by the Fund, imposition of Gas Infrastructure Development Cess, and missing tax collection target in first quarter.

Meanwhile, the economic managers of the country would brief the Funds on the ongoing privatisation programme, strategy to eliminate the mounting circular debt and other economic indicators.

Pakistan had received fourth tranches worth of $2.2 billion from the IMF during previous fiscal year 2013-14. The International Monetary Fund (IMF), on September 4, 2013 approved $6.64 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Pakistan.