Advisor to the PM on Finance Shaukat Tarin has said that Pakistan is close to reaching a staff-level agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the release of a $1 billion tranche under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). “You can take an assurance from me right now, we are very close [to an agreement],” Tarin told reporters on Wednesday. “There are just one or two things which we are still discussing,” he further said, adding the pending issues would be resolved in a “day or two.” The advisor’s comments came after media reports that talks between the IMF and Pakistan had concluded on Friday and failed. Last week IMF Director of the Middle East and Central Asia Department, Jihad Azour, said there is ‘progress’ in talks between officials from the IMF and Pakistan. The three-year, $6 billion package, approved in 2019, was aimed at shoring up fragile public finances and strengthening a slowing economy. Negotiations for the release of the latest tranche started in the first week of October in Washington.