Officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Pakistan in May to discuss issues regarding the subsidies being given by the government on petrol and electricity, according to a press release issued by the Finance Division on Sunday. Finance Minister Miftah Ismail met IMF officials, including Deputy Managing Director Antoinette Sayeh, Director MCD Jihad Azour, and Mission Chief Nathan Porter. “The delegation discussed pathways to complete the seventh review. Miftah Ismail, Finance Minister, laid out his government’s priorities and efforts to bring fiscal discipline while insulating the vulnerable from oil price volatility in the international markets,” said the statement. The Finance Division said that the IMF had “expressed support” to the Pakistani delegation. “An IMF mission lead by Mission Chief Nathan Porter will visit Pakistan in May to discuss the issues around subsidies on petrol and electricity announced by the outgoing government,” said the statement. Finance Minister Miftah and his team had also met World Bank’s Managing Director Axel von Trotsenburg, Vice President Hartwig Schafer and other officials as well during the trip. “Progress of on-going programme loans and projects as well as avenues for further assistance were discussed. The finance minister thanked the bank officials for the financial and technical support provided by the bank throughout. MD Operations also assured full support for Pakistan,” said the statement. The delegation also met vice president IFC, vice president MIGA and executive directors of the IMF. Reports said Pakistan and the IMF have agreed, in principle, to extend the stalled bailout programme by up to one year and increase the loan size to $8 billion, giving markets the much-needed stability and a breathing space to the new government. Subject to the final modalities, the IMF has agreed that the programme will be extended by another nine months to one year as against the original end-period of September 2022, reports said. The size of the loan would be increased from the existing $6 billion to $8 billion – a net addition of $2 billion, a senior government functionary requesting anonymity said.