WASHINGTON: Pakistan hoped to get the fifth tranche of $1.8 billion from the International Monetary Fund by the end of December, officials told Dawn on Saturday.
The review for the fifth tranche is scheduled in early December, and Pakistan expects the IMF board to approve the next instalment despite the reservations the fund expressed earlier this week.
IMF mission chief for Pakistan Adnan Mazarei told a briefing in Washington that Islamabad needed to enforce its reformed General Sales Tax and move to eliminate its electricity subsidy to qualify for the fifth instalment.
Out of a total of $11.2 billion, Pakistan has already received $7.4 billion from the IMF while the remaining $4 billion will be disbursed in two instalments.
While Pakistan expects to receive $1.8 billion by the end of December, the remaining amount can only be disbursed after the final review in March.
Mr Mazarei said that Pakistani authorities had indicated they wanted a new loan programme from the IMF too. The exact size and timeframe for the new programme had yet to be determined, he added.
Government officials in Islamabad, however, told reporters last week that Pakistan could quit the IMF lending programme agreed in late 2008 to fend off a debt-payment crisis, by winding up the standby arrangement the country signed with the Washington-based institution. A final decision on terminating the SBA, however, would be made this month.
Pakistan has once before terminated an IMF programme prematurely. In 2004, Pakistan successfully fulfilled the conditions attached to the programme and gave up its right to draw the last payment. That was the only one of seven IMF programmes Pakistan has successfully completed.