A Loan for Pakistan
A Letter to the Editor
By Thomas C. Dawson
Director, External Relations Department
International Monetary Fund
October 4, 2001
Paul Blustein ("A Tighter Hand in Doling Out Global Aid?", Business, September 30) neglects the public record by suggesting that the International Monetary Fund relaxed its standards in approving a loan payment to Pakistan after the recent terrorist attacks.
On August 29, at the completion of a review of that loan, the IMF issued a statement confirming "Pakistan's solid macroeconomic performance including lower inflation, a strengthening of the balance of payments, and reduction of fiscal imbalances." That statement foreshadowed the IMF board's approval of the final portion of Pakistan's loan on September 26. The board certified that, with the exception of a brief delay in promulgating a new tax law, Pakistan had met the terms of the $600 million loan. At no time was its approval a "50-50" proposition, as Mr. Blustein claims.