IMF to Seek ‘Absolute Transparency' of Pakistan's Debts in Bailout Talks

The International Monetary Fund launched formal bailout talks with Pakistan on Thursday, and IMF managing director Christine Lagarde said she would require “absolute transparency” of Pakistan’s debts, including those owed to China, Reuters reported. She said such disclosures were necessary to determine the debt sustainability of countries seeking IMF loans. The requirements are likely to shine a spotlight on the extent, composition and terms of Pakistan’s debts to China for infrastructure projects as part of Beijing’s massive Belt and Road building program. China has pledged some $60 billion in financing to Pakistan for ports, railways and roads, but rising debt levels have caused Islamabad to cut the size of the biggest Belt and Road project by some $2 billion. “In whatever work we do, we need to have a complete understanding and absolute transparency about the nature, size, and terms of the debt that is bearing on a particular country,” Lagarde told a news conference when asked about Pakistan’s debts to China. Read more.