IMF approves $6 billion agreement with Pakistan for 3-years: Hafeez Sheikh


Islamabad, May 13 (TNS): Prime Minister’s Advisor on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh has said that a loan programme has been finalized with International Monetary Fund.

In an interview with PTV on Sunday, he said Pakistan will get six billion dollars in three years, while an additional amount of two to three billion dollars may likely come from World Bank and Asian Development Bank on less interest rate.

Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said the IMF programme will be implemented after its formal approval from fund’s board. He said the agreement will improve debt situation and sent a positive signal to the world to attract foreign investment.

The Advisor said that the IMF programme will provide an opportunity to bring structural changes to handle issues pertaining to loss making state owned enterprises, exports, and to enhance revenue.

He said structural reforms and successful implementation of the IMF programme are vital for sustainable development and prosperity.

To a question, Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said prices in some areas will have to be increased to put Pakistan’s economy under some financial discipline. But, it would not affect common people in anyway.

The Advisor said 216 billion rupees will be allocated for subsidy in power sector.

He said electricity consumers using less than 300 units will have no impact of enhanced prices.

Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said allocation for social safety network under Ehsas and BISP are being doubled for which 180 billion rupees will be allocated in the next budget to provide relief to the common masses.

Meanwhile, the International Monetary Fund says it reached a staff-level agreement with Pakistan over a 6 billion dollar bailout package backed by a series of reforms to cut deficits and improve growth.

The IMF said in a statement that the program would aim to cut Pakistan’s debt through tax measures to improve revenue collection as well as reforms to its creaking energy sector, with a market-determined exchange rate to help the functioning of the finance sector.