Pakistan’s forex reserves fall below $3 billion

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The State Bank of Pakistan (SBP)-held foreign exchange reserves fell below $3 billion to a nine-year low as the cash-strapped nation faces hurdles in shoring up its economy amid a stalled International Monetary Fund (IMF) programme.

The coalition government is desperately trying to unlock the IMF deal, with the lender’s mission in Islamabad to negotiate the terms for resuming the Extended Fund Facility (EFF), which will pave for Pakistan to get more than $1 billion from the institution.

In a statement on Thursday, the central bank said its foreign exchange reserves have slipped to $2,916.7 million after falling $170 million due to external debt payments.

The IMF mission has been in Islamabad since January 31 at Pakistan’s request to finalise the fiscal policy that has stalled the release of more than $1 billion from the $6.5 billion bailout package signed in 2019.

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