Pakistan has met the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) latest requirement to release $1.1 billion in bailout assets, under its seventh and eighth reviews, according to fund representative Esther Perez-Ruiz.
Pakistan has been hit hard by rising commodity prices, and the current account deficit exceeded $17 billion in the last fiscal year, compared to less than $3 billion in the previous year.
Ruiz said Tuesday that the last condition was to increase the petroleum development tax on July 31, adding that it was tentatively decided to hold the fund’s board meeting to release the bailout funds in late August, once Pakistan confirms adequate financial guarantees.
Foreign reserve gap
In his statements last month, the Pakistani Finance Minister suggested that the country would get 4 billion dollars from friendly countries to fill a gap in foreign reserves indicated by the IMF, days after reaching an agreement with it. The reserves fell to dangerous levels of $8.5 billion, which covers imports for less than two months.
Annual consumer price inflation in Pakistan reached 24.9% in July compared to 21.3% in June, the highest in 14 years.
Pakistan’s army chief on Friday appealed to Washington to use its leverage to secure the early release of International Monetary Fund (IMF) funds, as the country struggles to avert an economic crisis.