- Antony Blinken says that America stands with the people of Pakistan in difficult times.
- He said that Pakistan should continue to work with the IMF for reforms.
- IMF deposited $1.2 billion in SPB’s account this morning.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken on Tuesday welcomed the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) approval of a program to support Pakistan, saying Washington stands with the people of Pakistan.
“We stand with the Pakistani people during this difficult time and welcome the International Monetary Fund’s approval of a program to support Pakistan,” Blinken wrote on his official Twitter handle.
“We urge Pakistan to continue working with International Monetary Fund Towards comprehensive economic reforms and sustainable economic recovery,” he further said on the microblogging site.
His comments came as the global lender deposited $1.2 billion into a State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) account this morning, boosting the cash-strapped country’s hopes for economic stability as it teeters on the brink of default for several months. Was on
The IMF’s executive board late last night approved a $3 billion stand-by agreement (SBA) under the nine-month programme, which came after eight months of tough negotiations on fiscal discipline.
Pakistan struck a staff-level settlement with the lender last month, creating a short-term settlement that brought the crisis-hit country more money than expected by 230 million.
In a televised address from Islamabad, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar said Pakistan would get the balance after two reviews – the second in November and the third in February.
The inflow will add to Pakistan’s foreign exchange reserves, he said, noting that during the current week, the central bank’s reserves have increased by about $4.2 billion.
“Our forex reserves will close on July 14 at around $13-$14 billion […] And SBP will release the exact figures later,” the Finance Minister said.
In a statement, the IMF said its executive board had approved an additional nine-month arrangement “to support the authorities’ economic stabilization programme”.
Pakistan is on the path of development […] “We should all try to make a profit through this,” Dar said.
The South Asian nation has faced a balance of payments crisis, following the ouster of the country’s former Prime Minister Imran Khan, as it attempts to repay crippling foreign debt amid a tense political climate.
Inflation is at its peak, the rupee has hit a record low against the dollar and the country is struggling to afford imports, leading to a sharp decline in industrial production.
Pakistan has signed about two dozen agreements with the IMF, most of which remain incomplete.
In the days before the decision was approved, Pakistan received deposits worth $3 billion from Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
Funds from the two Gulf countries boosted Pakistan’s foreign reserves to $7.5 billion – more than double the account balance last week.