The International Monetary Fund has asked for more time for negotiations with Pakistan over a deal that would unlock $1.1 billion in much-needed funds for the country, Secretary of Finance Hamed Sheikh said Thursday.
Cash-strapped Pakistan, pushed to the limit by last year’s devastating floods, had been host to the talks since late last week in a bid to access the funds, a tranche initially expected last December and part of the IMF’s $6.5 billion bailout aimed at warding off an economic meltdown.
“The staff level agreement between Pakistan and IMF will be reached soon,” Sheikh, a senior official at the Ministry of Finance, said in a statement. “The IMF mission asked for more time for staff-level negotiations.”
He said both sides had agreed on “actions and advance measures.” The staff-level talks were due to conclude on Thursday.
Broadcaster Geo reported hours earlier, citing sources, thatall matters had been settled between both sides over the bailout.