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IMF Discusses Pakistan's Flood 'Catastrophe,' Economy


Pakistan's Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh is scheduled to join urgent economic talks at the International Monetary Fund in Washington Wednesday, as his nation copes with the aftermath of devastating floods.

The director of the IMF's Middle East and Central Asia Department, Masood Ahmed, says flood damage is hurting Pakistan's tax revenue, just as relief efforts are drastically raising expenses and the nation faces "massive" reconstruction costs.

Pakistan already was working to pay back an $11 billion loan from the IMF that was helping the nation cope with the global economic crisis. In return for the loan, Pakistan had promised to tighten economic policies and cut expenses.

The IMF's Masood says those budget targets will have to be revisited. But he adds that the crisis is still unfolding, making it difficult to assess the economic picture.

Some information for this report was provided by AP, AFP and Reuters.

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