Adviser to the Prime Minister on Finance, Hafeez Shaikh, on Saturday said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan programme that Pakistan has entered into is going to cost less than most people expected.

The adviser on finance acknowledged that the programme was being debated upon heavily in the media as well as by the country’s intelligentsia.

“The IMF is an organisation which has been formed solely to assist member countries which are faced with financial difficulties,” he said during a press conference in Islamabad. “They have never given money to countries that were not capable of paying back their loans, or creating unsuitable plans that send markets into a recession, just for the benefit of the West.

He further stated, “The programme we have obtained has a magnitude of $6bn and is spread over 3 years. The good thing about it is that the rate of borrowing is much lower than other programmes. The interest rate is 50 per cent. Completely manageable.”

Shaikh said that entering the programme would “send a good signal to the international community that Pakistan is willing to bend over backwards just to get some money. They will be ready to investment more into our economy as they know they can get anything they need from us.”