Delay in IMF funds approval to further hit Pakistan's flagging economy

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Islamabad, Mar.27 (ANI): The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has postponed its executive board meeting scheduled to be held on March 31 to review Pakistan's economy and approve funds worth 1.2 billion dollars.

According to a senior official of the finance department, the IMF has deferred the important meeting because of the Pakistan government's failure to meet an important condition of the tabling of the draft Value Added Tax (VAT) legislation in the four provincial assemblies.

The IMF website, where meeting schedules are posted, also has removed Pakistan from the board agenda, The News reports.

The official said that the government is now likely to send a complete compliance report to the IMF next Monday once the VAT draft law is submitted before all the four provincial assemblies.

Islamabad has so far received about 6.4 billion dollars from the IMF from its total package, which was offered to rescue the country's sluggish economy.

Financial experts said that the delay on part of the IMF in releasing the funds would put enormous pressure on the country's economy, and is also likely to affect the Karachi Stock Exchange.

They said that it is unlikely that the IMF would approve the remaining funds promised under the 11.3 billion dollar standby agreement by March 31, and that it could be delayed till June-uly next year. (ANI)

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