Cash-strapped Pakistan is likely to secure a bailout package between USD 6 billion and USD 12 billion from the IMF by the middle of May after the two sides significantly bridged the "gap" on the terms of the deal, Finance Minister Asad Umar has said.
The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government led by Prime Minister Imran Khan has been grappling with a severe balance of payments crisis. Islamabad has sought help from close allies like China, Saudi Arabia and the UAE to bail itself out from a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country's economy.
"We're approaching the landing zone," said Umar.
"The gap between our position and the IMF's is significantly less than what it was a few months back," he told the Financial Times.
His comments came after a meeting with IMF mission chief for Pakistan Ernesto Ramirez-Rigo this week.
Rigo visited Islamabad and Karachi for introductory meetings with Pakistani authorities. He assumed Pakistan mission chief responsibilities earlier this month. This was his first visit to the country, Geo News reported.
Umar said he hoped an agreement would be reached with the International Monetary Fund by "late April, first half of May". The package would be of between USD 6 billion and USD 12 billion, Dawn newspaper reported, quoting Umar as telling the British daily.