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Pakistan to get $6 billion from IMF over the next three years: Official

Islamabad: Pakistan will get $6 billion from the IMF over the next three years to meet its foreign debt obligations, the country’s advisor on finance said on state television after signing the agreement. Pakistan’s advisor on finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said that foreign loans have exceeded $90 billion, and exports have registered a negative growth over the past five years.

“So Pakistan will get $6 billion from the IMF, and in addition, we will get $2 to $3 billion from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank in next three years,” he said.

“The trade deficit reaches $20 billion and our foreign exchange reserves dipped by 50 per cent in the past two years. So we have a $12 billion gap in our annual payments and we don’t have the capacity to pay them,” the senior official said.

The IMF said that its team reached an agreement on policies that could be supported by a 39-month Extended Fund Arrangement (EFF) for about $6 billion.

“The program aims to support the authorities’ strategy for stronger and more balanced growth by reducing domestic and external imbalances, improving the business environment, strengthening institutions, increasing transparency, and protecting social spending,” said Ramirez Rigo, head of the IMF delegation, in a statement late Sunday.

A government report out Friday said that Pakistan’s growth rate is set to hit an eight-year low. A report by Pakistan’s National Accounts Committee forecast growth of a mere 3.3 per cent in the current fiscal year against a projected target of 6.2 per cent.

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