Islamabad: The International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) executive board has approved the revival of Pakistan’s Extended Fund Facility (EFF) program, said the country’s Finance Minister Miftah Ismail, adding that after this the country will receive the 7th and 8th tranche of USD 1.17 billion.”
”Alhamdolillah the IMF Board has approved the revival of our EFF program. We should now be getting the 7th & 8th tranche of $1.17 billion,” the federal minister tweeted.
Earlier in April 2020, the IMF board approved the disbursement of USD 1.386 billion to Pakistan. But it is yet to receive the funds. The Finance Minister went on to congratulate the nation and thanked Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for “taking tough decisions” and “saving Pakistan from default”.
Dawn newspaper reported that ”the IMF will now immediately disburse about USD 1.2 billion to Pakistan and may provide up to USD 4 billion over the remainder of the current fiscal year”, which began on July.
However, an official statement is yet to be released by the global lender. The development comes a day after the coalition government accused the PTI of “attempting to jeaopardise the IMF loan programme” after the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government refused to implement the terms of the Fund’s agreement in a letter.
Pakistan Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, without naming the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), said ”that it was unfortunate that a political party was doing politics over the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and self-centered politics could cause irreparable damage to the country as an IMF board was scheduled to hold its meeting”, local media reported.
“I have never seen such self-centered politics; it will be a huge injustice with Pakistan and a big conspiracy against the country,” PM Sharif said while referring to PTI on his visit to the flood victims in Sujawl, Sindh.
According to media reports, ”Pakistan had managed to secure loans, financing, deferred oil payments and investment commitments close to USD 12 billion from China, Saudi Arabia, Qatar and UAE. This will help the cash-strapped country to avoid a default for now.”
However, such commitments will become available only after the IMF board approves the package, according to American Broadcaster Voice of America (VOA).
Pakistan’s economy is broad and deep and its geostrategic position is strong enough for it to avoid default, experts told VOA. Despite several differences, Washington “still supports the loans through the IMF because a crisis on Afghanistan’s border is not something that the US wants to see,” said Tamanna Salikuddin, director of South Asia programs at the United States Institute of Peace.