New IMF loan insufficient for Pakistan problems: economist

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KARACHI, August 8, 2009 (AFP) – Pakistani economists on Saturday said an additional 3.2 billion dollar loan from the IMF would have little impact on the economic problems facing the cash-starved South Asian country. The International Monetary Fund on Friday said it had approved an additional 3.2 billion dollar loan to Pakistan after it asked for more help to weather the global economic crisis.

The IMF said the extra funds for its Pakistan loan programme would “help the country address increased balance of payment needs” and raise the total loan to 11.3 billion dollars.

Independent economists said it wasn’t enough to solve Pakistan’s economic woes though.

“It is just a temporary relief for our economy given the fact that we have to return the loan in a brief two-year period while our economy needs a decade or so to attain stability,” economist A.B. Shahid told AFP.

He noted that the Pakistani currency the rupee has already depreciated against the dollar by about a third in the last 18 months and continues to dwindle.

Pakistan’s state bank says total liquid foreign reserves currently held by the country stand at 11.71 billion dollars. They dipped to around six billion dollars last year, trigge