Pakistan has sought Washington’s support to launch the stalled International Monetary Fund program that would release $1.1 billion to its strained economy to rebuild the country after last year’s devastating floods, Dawn newspaper said on Thursday.
The IMF and Pakistan signed a $6 billion bailout in 2019, topping last year’s $1.1 billion, but it came with conditions aimed at bridging the budget deficit before the loan was released.
With interest rates already at 17 percent, inflation hitting 24.5% in December, and foreign reserves barely enough to cover three weeks’ worth of imports, the South Asian nation is in dire need of external financing.
Finance Minister Ishaq Dar met the US Treasury delegation on Wednesday. Dawn quoted sources as saying that he told them that Pakistan would honor its international commitments and was in the process of taking “very tough decisions” such as increasing the prices of natural gas and electricity.
“However, he said that Pakistan needs to take a breather as industry and agriculture have gone through one of the most challenging times after the devastating floods,” the Pakistani English-language newspaper reported.
The finance ministry did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Last year’s fierce floods inundated many parts of the country, killed at least 1,700 people, and damaged its already strained economy.
The reconstruction cost was estimated at $16.3 billion and this month international donors pledged to finance more than half of it.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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