Finance Minister Ishaq Dar has announced that the first instalment of $1.2 billion from the International Monetary Fund has been deposited in the State Bank of Pakistan under the $3 billion worth of Stand-By Arrangement approved by the lender for the cash-strapped country.
“As I speak to you, the first of three instalments from the IMF has been received by the State Bank of Pakistan,” Dar said in a televised press conference on Thursday.
The executive board of the IMF approved on Wednesday the agreement between Pakistan and the IMF for the agreement for nine months.
The finance minister also said that with help having arrived from the IMF, Pakistan has been “set on the path to progress”. The announcement was made after two friendly countries, Saudi Arabia and UAE, deposited funds in the country’s bank. External commitment from the friendly nations was an important factor for Pakistan to clinch the much-needed deal.
Dar, who took the reins of the economy after Mitah Ismail step down from the post, said the receipt of IMF’s tranche would further improve our foreign exchange reserves. He pointed out that the reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan have increased by $4.2 billion this week.
“It is expected that our foreign exchange reserves will be between thirteen and fourteen billion dollars when the central bank will share the exact figures tomorrow at the close of the week,” said Dar.
The finance czar said Pakistan would receive the remaining $1.8 billion from the IMF after two reviews in November and February.
The Stand By Arrangement has been limited to nine months so that the next elected government could take its own decisions, he added.
He expressed his gratitude to Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif for his support in reaching the arrangement with the IMF. He was also appreciative of his economic team for supporting him during this difficult process.
Dar claimed that Pakistan has been put on a positive journey, stressing the need for “collective efforts to further consolidate these gains and take the country towards a positive growth trajectory”.