The International Monetary Fund (IMF) on Friday disbursed $555.9 million to Pakistan, confirming the country was on track with the conditions of its IMF loan programme.
The IMF saved Pakistan from possible default by agreeing last September to lend it $6.8 billion over three years. The cash is being doled out in increments and could stop if Pakistan fails to institute reforms, including cracking down on tax evasion and privatising loss-making state companies.
Pakistan’s tax authorities in April said they would publicly shame defaulters by publishing taxpayers’ details in a directory for the first time. Only around one in 200 citizens files income tax returns, leaving the state begging foreign donors to help fund crumbling schools and hospitals.
The IMF disburses loan tranches after confirming a country is on track with the conditions of any bailout.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2014.