IMF hails Premier’s swift relief package

WASHINGTON: The International Monetary Fund (IMF) appreciated Prime Minister Imran Khan’s swift relief package, its managing director said in a statement issued Friday, adding that the global body was working on emergency fund request
The International Monetary Fund was working on Pakistan’s request for emergency funds to deal with the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, its managing director said in a statement issued Friday, adding that it appreciated the country’s swift move to offer relief response to the people. In the statement, IMF MD Kristalina Georgieva noted how Pakistan was working to resolve its economic challenges but lauded Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration for speedily giving the green signal to a relief package worth Rs1.2 trillion, as well as the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) for its “timely set of measures”.
“Prime Minister Khan and his government have swiftly approved an economic stimulus package aimed at containing the spread of the virus and providing support to affected families and businesses,” Georgieva said.
“Similarly, the State Bank of Pakistan has adopted a timely set of measures, including a lowering of the policy rate, new refinancing facilities to support the flow of credit, and temporary regulatory relief measures,” she added.
The top IMF official mentioned that Pakistan had recently requested emergency financial aid under the global body’s Fund’s Rapid Financing Instrument (RFI) to address the country’s balance of payments requirements.
It would “support policies that would make it possible to direct funds swiftly to Pakistan’s most affected sectors, including social protection, daily wage earners, and the healthcare system”, she said.
“Our team is working expeditiously to respond to this request so that a proposal can be considered by the IMF’s Executive Board as soon as possible.
“In parallel, the authorities have reaffirmed their commitment to the reform policies included in the current arrangement under the Extended Fund Facility (EFF). These reforms are crucial to boost Pakistan’s growth potential to deliver broad based benefits for all Pakistanis, especially the most vulnerable segments of the population,” Georgieva stated. The IMF stood strong with and was ready to support implementation of Pakistan’s “much-needed economic and structural reforms aimed at fostering strong and sustainable growth”.–Agencies