ISLAMABAD: The World Bank has delayed the approval of two loans for Pakistan worth $1.1 billion until the next fiscal year pending some steps on the country’s energy debt and tariffs, a finance ministry source told Reuters on Wednesday.

The approval of the loans have been pending since June, said the source, declining to be named as they were not authorised to talk to the media. Pakistan’s next fiscal year starts in April.

“The major issue is the circular debt management plan in the energy sector and tariff revision,” said the source.

“These actions are pending on our side.” The World Bank and the finance ministry did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Pakistan is still reeling from devastating floods that have led to losses of more than $30 billion.

Foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan fell to $4.3bn earlier this month, barely enough for three weeks of imports.

Published in Dawn, January 19th, 2023

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