ISLAMABAD:(BY ARIF mehmood)

Pakistan has decided to seek $3.7 billion additional financing from three multilateral creditors including another loan of $1.4 billion from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to cope with the challenges being posed by the novel coronavirus outbreak.In addition to the IMF loan, the World Bank and the Asian Development Bank will extend loans of $1 billion and $1.25 billion respectively to the country, Adviser to the PM on Finance Dr Abdul Hafeez Shaikh said at wes conference on Wednesday.The step is aimed at soothing the markets that remained in panic despite Prime Minister Imran Khan announcing a Rs1.2 trillion economic relief package a day earlier.Pakistan announced the decision on the same day the IMF and the WB made an appeal to all bilateral creditors to suspend debt repayments by countries that were eligible for loans from the WB’s arm, the International Development Assistance (IDA). Pakistan also receives IDA loans but it is clubbed with blend countries that are eligible for both concessional and commercial terms loans from the WB. “With immediate effect—and consistent with national laws of the creditor countries—the World Bank Group and the IMF call on all official bilateral creditors to suspend debt payments from IDA countries that request forbearance,” read a joint statement issued by the WEB and the ADB.“This will help with IDA countries’ immediate liquidity needs to tackle challenges posed by the corona virus outbreak and allow time for an
assessment of the crisis impact and financing needs for each country,” it added. Sheikh also announced abolishing the capital value tax to support the Pakistan Stock Exchange that recorded a decrease of 1,336.03 points, or 4.68%, to settle at 27,228.80 on Wednesday. The Pakistani currency depreciated around Rs3 against the US dollar to a nine-month low at Rs161.6 in intra-day trade in the inter-bank market. “Pakistan and the IMF have agreed on an additional upfront financing of $1.4 billion as part of the Extended Fund Facility [EFF],” said Shaikh. This amount will take the total size of the bailout package by the IMF under the EFF to $7.4 billion. The IMF board is expected to meet next month to approve Pakistan’s second review. Shaikh clarified that the IMF would not disburse $1.4 billion out of its $50 billion emergency facility for COVID-19, which was only meant for countries whose economies were the worst hit by the pandemic. “However, Pakistan’s economy is expected to suffer significant damages,” he added. The finance adviser said Pakistan’s exports were likely to fall as the economies of the countries that purchased goods from the country would weaken.Similarly, remittances from expatriates might decrease as well as the countries where they are based, including Saudi Arabia and the UAE, will be affected. The economic activity in the country will reduce which in turn will decrease the income of

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here