ISLAMABAD: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has said that Pakistan will be receiving the $1.17 billion tranche in three to six weeks, after the two reached a staff-level agreement earlier this week.
In a press briefing addressed after the IMF announced the confirmation of the staff-level agreement on Thursday, Gerry Rice of the IMF Communication Department stated that the finical watchdog had reached an agreement with Pakistan on a combined seventh and eighth review of the programme, “that will translate into about 1.17 million [sic] being disbursed to Pakistan.”
As a reminder, Rice stated that the tranche would bring the total disbursements, from the IMF to Pakistan under the ongoing programme, to approximately $4.2 billion.
“We’re hoping this will help to stabilize the economy and amongst other things help expand the social safety net to protect the most vulnerable; accelerate structural reforms; and help stabilize the macroeconomic situation in Pakistan,” he added.
In response to the tentative timeline of the disbursement of funds, the spokesperson stated that the final meeting could be held within three to six weeks, “that’s roughly the ballpark between the staff level agreement and then the final agreement, which comes from our board.”
Pakistan avoided the lingering threat of a default after the IMF on July 14 announced a staff-level agreement to extend the bailout package and increased its size to $7 billion.
However, the international community continued to apply pressure to urge Islamabad to remain on course.
Background discussions with diplomatic channels revealed that the international community supported the IMF, and did not provide chances to the government to walk away from the talks by not extending any kind of cash assistance to Pakistan.
The global lender added that Islamabad should stand ready to “take any additional measures”. The IMF statement revealed that against the primary budget surplus target of Rs153 billion or 0.2% of the GDP set in the newly revised budget, the global lender has, in fact, given the 0.4% target.