Pakistan to receive $1.4bn from IMF next week, to fight COVID-19
Next week, under the Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI), Pakistan will obtain $1.4 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to tackle the economic instability following coronavirus.
On 29 March 2020, the IMF’s Managing Director announced that Pakistan’s government had demanded $1.4 billion under the RFI and confirmed that a Fund team was working quickly to respond to this request so that the IMF’s Executive Board would accept a proposal as soon as possible.
“We have been working with the Pakistani authorities since the request was placed … This $1.4 billion disbursement is scheduled to happen next week,” informed Teresa Daban Sanchez, the IMF Resident Representative in Pakistan, Arab News said.
It should be noted here that the IMF’s $1.4bn loan to Pakistan is the country signed with the IMF last year, in addition to the $6bn bailout package for the region.
“This $1.4 billion we are requesting will be a low cost, fast disbursing loan,” said Finance Adviser Abdul Hafeez Shaikh.
He said Pakistan would like to see the IMF accept the loan separately to funds that it had already set aside due to the pandemic for losses to economies around the world.
“We would like to secure funds for us before those losses are evaluated,” he said.
Last month, Pakistan’s State Bank cut its benchmark interest rate, lowering it to 11pc by 150 basis points, and announcing a package of measures to support the pandemic-hit economy and the poorer workers. More than 4000 people have been reported to be infected by the virus, which has killed 58 so far.