ISLAMABAD - The cash-starved government of Pakistan on Friday received much-needed $688 million from United States under the head of Coalition Support Fund (CSF) for its fight against militants that would help in maintaining foreign exchange reserves of country.

During an informal chat at parliament house, the Minister of State for Finance Revenue and Economic Affairs Saleem H Mandviwalla said that Pakistan has received $688 million from the United States under CSF on Friday that would help in maintaining the foreign exchange reserves of the country at reasonable level.

Pakistan’s total liquid foreign reserves as on December 21 stood at $13.378 billion, which would go beyond $14 billion after receiving due amount from US on December 28. The country’s foreign exchange reserves are sharply depleting due to heavy repayment to International Monetary Fund (IMF), as it *has repaid $2.4 to $ 2.5 billion to the Fund since February 2012.

Earlier, the Finance Ministry officials were expecting to receive this amount in the first week of January, however they got it on Friday.

Pakistan had earlier filed a claim worth $2.5 billion to the United States and $1.2 billion as first tranche has been received in July 2012 and with the disbursement of further $688 million on 28 December 2012, total arrears would come down to just $600 million.

Although the government claims that the foreign exchange reserves would be enough for three months import after making repayments of Enhanced Structural Adjustment Facility and Stand-by Arrangement to IMF during the ongoing fiscal year 2012-13. However, the economists in the private sector are of the view that gross foreign exchange reserves of the federal government also include around $4 billion private deposits maintained by the Pakistanis and net reserves would decline to just over $6 billion by end of this fiscal year 2012-13.