Islamabad, July 4: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) Wednesday approved a $6 billion bailout package for Pakistan and immediately released $1bn to ease a sustained pressure on the country’s foreign exchange reserves, Dawn reported.
The package, which supports the government’s efforts to revive the country’s ailing economy, includes a phased release of the additional aid over a 39-month period. The IMF will also conduct quarterly review of Pakistan’s performance over this period, the report said.
“IMF Executive Board approved today a three-year US$6 billion loan to support Pakistan’s economic plan, which aims to return sustainable growth to the country’s economy and improve the standards of living,” IMF spokesperson Gerry Rice said on Twitter.
“The country’s economic plan seeks to return sustainable growth to the economy by adopting reforms to foster stronger and more sustainable growth,” he added.
Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh also went to Twitter to confirm the package. “IMF Board approved a $6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) for Pakistan to support our economic reform programme,” he wrote. “Our programme supports broad-based growth by reducing imbalances in the economy. Social spending has been strengthened to completely protect vulnerable segments.”
Dr Shaikh said that the IMF support “bodes well for the country and is a testament to the government’s resolve for ensuring financial discipline and sound economic management”.
In May, Pakistan and the IMF reached a staff-level agreement on a new three-year, $6bn bailout package following months of negotiations.
The accord, which was approved by the IMF board of directors in Washington on Wednesday, aims to shore up Pakistan’s public finances and stabilise its slowing economy.