Pakistan may approach IMF for assistance

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Islamabad, Nov 7 (UNI) Pakistan may soon approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for financial assistance as it has been unable so far to solicit any concrete supports from other multi-donor agencies and Friends of Pakistan countries.

''All friends of Pakistan, want to place the monitoring mechanism of the IMF for ensuring effective utilisation of funds,'' local English daily The News today quoted an unnamed government official as saying.

There is no alternate plan and Islamabad will have to join the fund in the very near future which will enable it to obtain 3-4 billion dollars first tranche within November under a soft loan facility,'' he added.

On being contacted, senior level official of the Finance Ministry was said things were not yet clear and it would be finalised after the outcome of the upcoming Friends of Pakistan forum meeting.

The official said there was no official word so far about the Saudi oil facility for six months. Pakistani officials may announce the details of Pakistan-Saudi Arabia deal for promoting economic ties today.

They said 24 countries were represented on the board of directors of the IMF so they did not require any monitoring mechanism on utilisation of funds and the IMF team would brief them about the financial health of the country for approving every tranche after a three-month period.

Neither countries have the capacity nor the time to place any monitoring mechanism on those funds which will be given by them,'' said the official.

UNI XC GT HS1042

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