| GEO Business|
| IMF okays $1.13 billion in aid for Pakistan|
| Updated at: 0744 PST, Saturday, May 15, 2010|
NEW YORK: The International Monetary Fund said on Friday its board agreed to release $1.13 billion in aid for Pakistan and waive some of its requirements.
The Fund said Pakistan's economic conditions had improved even though the country faces "adverse security developments and a rapidly changing political environment."
Pakistan had asked for a waiver on some of its targets, including its quarterly budget deficit. The IMF approved the requests, and also agreed to combine the remain three disbursements into two, while keeping the total loan package at about $10.66 billion.
Including the latest disbursement, Pakistan has drawn about $7.27 billion.
The board said it would grant waivers for overruns on the budget deficit and on net government borrowing limits from the State Bank of Pakistan. The IMF said Pakistan missed those targets in part due to a "temporary" factor -- a delay in the disbursement of foreign financing.
It agreed to Pakistan's request to increase the end-June 2010 budget ceiling by 0.15 percent of gross domestic product to allow space for urgent security outlay and avoid spending cuts. The floor for net foreign assets of the State Bank of Pakistan was raised by $300 million.
The IMF said Pakistan's economy remained highly vulnerable, and listed worry spots ranging from persistent inflation to security-related spending pressures.
Pakistan has come under U.S. pressure to send troops into the militant bastion of North Waziristan following a failed bombing in New York claimed by the Taliban Movement of Pakistan.