IMF okays $555 mn disbursement for Pakistan

Washington, March 25: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has approved immediate disbursement of SDR 360 million (about $555.6 million) to Pakistan after the second review of its economic performance.

The IMF executive board Monday completed the review under a three-year programme supported by an arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), according to a media release.

The 36-month extended arrangement under the EFF of SDR 4.393 billion (about US$6.78 billion, or 425 percent of Pakistan’s quota at the IMF) was approved by the Executive Board on Sep 4 last year.

“The Pakistani authorities have made commendable progress in stabilizing the economy and launching important structural reforms,” said David Lipton, First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair after the board’s discussion on Pakistan.

“However, economic conditions remain challenging, and more needs to be done to reduce vulnerabilities,” he said.

“Fiscal consolidation is on track, but additional efforts to broaden the revenue base and improve tax administration are needed to sustain the adjustment.

“Recent steps to increase the equity and transparency in taxation are in the right direction,” Lipton said.

While “Monetary policy should increasingly focus on containing inflationary pressures,” he said, “Tackling financial sector risks is an important policy priority.”

“Progress on structural reforms is welcome but more remains to be done,” the official said calling for bolder actions to improve trade policies and the business climate.”

IANS