Pakistan reforms on track, extra $1.4 billion likely - International Monetary Fund official

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Pakistan's economic reforms are broadly on track and the International Monetary Fund could release an extra US$1.1 billion (S1.4 billion) for the South Asian country in early December, the IMF's Pakistan mission chief said on Sunday.

Jeffrey Franks said there had been very good talks with Pakistani officials, including Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Central Bank Governor Ashraf Wathra, about the economic program, under which Pakistan promised reforms in return for an IMF bailout.

The IMF saved Pakistan from possible default by agreeing last September to lend it US$6.8 billion over three years. The cash is being doled out in increments and could stop if Pakistan fails to institute changes such as cracking down on tax evasion and privatizing loss-making state companies.

"During our discussions, we agreed to combine the fourth and fifth reviews with the view towards holding an IMF Executive Board meeting in early December which could make available two tranches totalling approximately US$1.1 billion," Franks said in a statement during the IMF's annual meetings in Washington.

An IMF mission would meet Pakistani officials in Dubai in late October to undertake the review, he said.

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