IMF approves $6 billion loan to Pakistan

United Nations: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has thrown Pakistan's flailing economy a lifeline through a $6 billion loan that brings with it stringent conditions and regular monitoring.

The Executive Board approved the loan to support the economic reform programme initiated by Prime Minister Imran Khan, the IMF said on Wednesday. Pakistan will receive $1 billion immediately and the rest will be delivered over a 39 month period based on periodic reviews, according to the IMF.

In return, Islamabad is expected to undertake reform measures ranging from reducing public debt through improved tax collection and eliminating losses in the energy sector to adopting "market-determined exchange rate" that could drive down the Pakistani rupee and rebuilding reserves, the IMF said. IMF's First Deputy Managing Director and Acting Chair David Lipton said: "Pakistan is facing significant economic challenges on the back of large fiscal and financial needs and weak and unbalanced growth."

-Arul Louis

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