IMF to release second tranche of $450m in December

The International Monetary Fund seal is seen April 5, 2007, along Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, DC. (AFP/File)
Updated 18 November 2019

IMF to release second tranche of $450m in December

  • The money will be released after the approval of the IMF board of directors, says the fund’s top official in Pakistan
  • The country secured $10 billion financial assistance from Saudi Arabia and the UAE to avert balance of payments crisis before signing the IMF deal

ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) is expected to release the second tranche of $450 million to Pakistan after the approval of its board of directors next month.
The fund completed its first quarterly review under the $6 billion bailout program during its delegation’s visit to Islamabad from Oct. 28 to Nov. 8, and will now submit its report to the board of directors to get its endorsement before releasing the second tranche.
“The release of the second tranche will take place once the first review under the IMF-supported program is approved by the IMF Board of Directors,” Teresa Daban Sanchez, IMF Resident Representative in Pakistan, told Arab News on Monday.
She said that a calendar of the reviews is explicitly mentioned in the program documents and “the first one is tentatively scheduled for the first part of December.”
Pakistan secured the $6 billion loan from the IMF in July this year – its 13th bailout program since the late 1980s – to stave off a balance of payments crisis. The IMF had granted the loan by imposing tough conditions including massive economic reforms and significant improvement in annual tax collection.
The government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, who took power in August, obtained temporary relief from close allies such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and China with short-term loans worth more than $10 billion to buffer foreign currency reserves and ease pressures on the country’s current account. Economists, however, called an IMF bailout inevitable as Pakistan faced growing fiscal crunch.
The fund has now expressed satisfaction over the economic performance of the country as the government has significantly narrowed trade and fiscal deficits.
“The government policies have started to bear fruit, helping to reserve the buildup of vulnerabilities and restore economic stability. The external and fiscal deficits are narrowing, inflation is expected to decline and growth although slow, remains positive,” the IMF said in a statement after completion of the first review.
Pakistan had already received an upfront disbursement of $991 million on the completion of all prior actions before signing the fund program in July. The inflow of the second tranche would help boost the country’s foreign exchange reserves which were recently recorded at $15.5 billion.
Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves have increased by $1.2 billion to $8.4 billion of reserves with the State Bank of Pakistan in four months (July to October) of the current fiscal year. Likewise, the government has paid $2.1 billion against previous loans during the same period.


Pakistan vows to raise with EU issue of civilian deaths in Kashmir 

Updated 02 July 2020

Pakistan vows to raise with EU issue of civilian deaths in Kashmir 

  • Outrage follows a viral photo of a toddler sitting on grandfather’s corpse in Sopore, Indian-administered Kashmir
  • Qureshi called the killing of the man ‘cold-blooded murder’ by Indian security forces 

ISLAMABAD: Pakistani Foreign Minister Shah Mahmood Qureshi on Wednesday evening said he would raise with the European Union the issue of civilian deaths in Indian-administered Kashmir, after the heart-wrenching image of a young boy sitting on top of the blood-soaked body of his grandfather in Sopore has been widely shared by media.
The man was killed during an encounter between security forces and militants, Indian authorities said. Identified as 51-year-old Bashir Ahmed Khan, he was traveling with his 3-year-old grandson from Srinagar to Handwara town, when the two were caught in the crossfire.
Qureshi called the incident “cold-blooded murder” and the latest in a growing list of “extrajudicial killings in the valley.”
He said in a statement he had informed the European Union about the situation in Kashmir and requested that immediate notice be taken, as he reiterated Pakistan’s resolve to raise its voice on atrocities in the valley at every forum.
Last month, Pakistan condemned “extra-judicial killings” of Kashmiris in fake encounters and cordon-and-search operations.
“It is the responsibility of the world community to urgently act and protect the Kashmiris from the wanton killings and other brutalities being inflicted on them by the Indian occupation forces. Pakistan will continue to call for holding India accountable for its crimes against the Kashmiri people,” the Foreign Office said in a statement on June 9.