Pakistan will seek long-term IMF loan to stabilise economy – finance minister

Pakistan plans to seek a long-term loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to help stabilise the country’s ailing economy after the end of the IMF’s current three billion dollar bailout package, the finance minister said.

Muhammad Aurangzeb, who plans to meet with IMF officials in Washington in April, did not specify the amount that Pakistan would seek in comments to reporters in the capital, Islamabad.

However, officials have previously said Pakistan wants to get up to eight billion dollars (£6.28 billion) from the IMF over three years.

Cash-strapped Pakistan has been facing one of its worst economic crises since last year when weekly inflation at one point crossed 40% amid fears the impoverished Islamic nation could default on its payment of foreign debt.

In June 2023, the IMF approved the current, one-year three billion dollar (£2.35 billion) loan package to Pakistan after the country agreed to slash subsidies and raise taxes to comply with the bailout terms.

Pakistan is to receive the final 1.1 billion dollar (£864 million) tranche in April.

Mr Aurangzeb said the inflation rate has since come down to 23%, and that he would seek to bring it down further, to provide some relief to residents who have struggled to pay electricity and gas bills.

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