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IMF approves three-year $6bn bailout package for Pakistan

ISLAMABAD: The Executive Board of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Wednesday approved a three-year bailout package worth $6 billion to Pakistan.

“IMF Executive Board approved today a three-year US$6 billion loan to support Pakistan’s economic plan, which aims to return sustainable growth to the country’s economy and improve the standards of living,” Gerry Rice, the IMF spokesperson, confirmed on Twitter.

“The country’s economic plan seeks to return sustainable growth to the economy by adopting reforms to foster stronger and more sustainable growth,” an image in Rice’s tweet read.

The IMF and Pakistan’s government had earlier already signed a staff agreement on May 12 in this regard.

IMF to review economic indicators every quarter

Earlier, it was reported that the final budget measures passed by the assembly, along with a report on compliance with all prior actions, would be the key elements in the IMF board’s decision to grant the request by Pakistan for a bailout facility.

The approved version of the budget and finance bill are expected to be transmitted to the fund. The Pakistani government in its budget proposals for the next financial year, on the other hand, has already added Rs357 billion loan from the IMF.

An IMF team is set to visit Islamabad every three months to review the country’s economic indicators. Pakistan has already fulfilled all of the IMF’s conditions before signing of the agreement, sources had said earlier.

The Cabinet’s Economic Coordination Committee (ECC) has given the approval to jack up the natural gas prices, which was one of the IMF’s conditions for its bailout package. It also approved a hike in the natural gas tariff for domestic consumers by 190 per cent and, on average, 31 per cent for all other categories.

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