ISLAMABAD -  An International Monetary Fund (IMF) team would visit Pakistan next week for economic assessment of the country for releasing second tranche worth of $550 million under Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

Sources in finance ministry told The Nation that IMF team would visit Islamabad from October 28 to November 4 wherein the Fund would review the economic performance of Pakistan before releasing the second tranche under EFF. The IMF had already released the first tranche worth of $550 million under EFF during the first week of September. However, others tranches would be released after completion of quarterly reviews.

Pakistan is optimistic to receive the second tranche as it believed that government has fulfilled the requirements. “We are satisfied that government has met all the requirements of the IMF that will allow to release the second tranche”, said Rana Asad Amin, advisor and official spokesperson the finance ministry while talking to The Nation.

He dispelled the impression regarding missing foreign reserves target and said, “There was just IMF projection that foreign exchange reserves will stand at $5.64 billion by September 30 that was not a target”.

Pakistan and IMF agreed that gross foreign currency reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) should increase to $5.64 billion by the end of September, which stood at $4.824 billion, showing a gap of $816 million. However, Rana said, “This gap would be bridged if Pakistan receive $800 million pending amount from Etisalat against the privatisation of Pakistan Telecommunication Company Limited (PTCL)”. This thing (gap of $800 million) does not matter, he concluded.

The IMF on September 4 had approved $6.64 billion extended fund facility programme for Pakistan, as Islamabad approached the Fund to take fresh loan to repay the previous loans. Sources informed that Pakistan has fulfilled the conditions of withdrawing power subsidy by increasing electricity tariff, issue notices to non-taxpayers, evolve privatisation policy for public sector entities, revenue collection target of first quarter.

Therefore, Pakistan believed to get second tranche without any obstacle.