Islamabad, June 16 (IANS) The Asian Development Bank (ADB) would provide a loan of $3.4 billion to Pakistan for budgetary support, a Minister has confirmed.The announcement was made by federal Minister for Planning, Development and Reforms Khusro Bakhtiar at a press conference on Saturday, adding that an agreement had been reached between the ADB and the Finance Ministry in this regard, Dawn news reported on Sunday. Of the total amount, $2.1 billion would be released within a year of the agreement, Bakhtiar said.When asked to explain the terms of the loan, the Minister only said it was "on a concessional rate".Later in the day, Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance Abdul Hafeez Shaikh took to Twitter to confirm the development. "The ADB will provide $3.4 billion in budgetary support," he said in his tweet. "$2.2 billion will be released this fiscal year (FY), starting in the first quarter of FY 2019-20. This will help the reserve position and the external account."Earlier this week, the Imran Khan-led government unveiled a 7,022 billion Pakistani rupees austerity budget for the fiscal year 2019-20, setting ambitious tax collection targets to stabilize a faltering economy, reports Geo News.The government is seeking help to overcome a ballooning balance of payments crisis. Last month, it reached an accord in principle with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a three-year, $6 billion bailout package aimed at shoring up its finances and strengthening a slowing economy.The ADB financing would come on top of the IMF loan.
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