Pakistan and IMF Negotiators Reach $6 Billion Loan Deal

Pakistan and IMF negotiators have reached an agreement on a $6bn loan for the country, the finance ministry said last night. Speaking on state-run Pakistan Television, Abdul Hafeez Shaikh, head of the finance ministry, said: “We have reached an agreement with the IMF staff for $6bn for the next three years. There will be adjustments involved but we will try to make certain that the extent of pain on low-income people is minimal.” The agreement is yet to be formally confirmed by the IMF’s management and its executive board, the Financial Times reported. But senior Pakistani officials told the FT that the staff level deal announced on Sunday was the most important element in negotiating a new loan. “The foundation has now been laid for an agreement,” said one. The IMF announced the move on its website. “Pakistan is facing a challenging economic environment, with lacklustre growth, elevated inflation, high indebtedness and a weak external position,” it said. Read more