WASHINGTON (Agencies) - Pakistan will not take up the final $3.7 billion tranche of an International Monetary Fund loan package after rejecting strict reform demands, the Financial Times said Tuesday. Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Shaikh told the daily that the IMF conditions were too tough and the government would instead pursue a homegrown reform programme, adding that the resilient economy did not need IMF help. Pakistan negotiated an $11.3bn loan package from the IMF three years ago to avoid a balance of payments crisis. Disagreements over fiscal management led to the programmes effective suspension at the end of last year. Shaikh said after undertaking a joint assessment with the IMF, Pakistan had decided not to negotiate a new programme and would instead go ahead with its own reform programme. He argued that a resilient Pakistani economy, growing at about 3.5 per cent this year, did not require IMF lending. Pakistan has previously signalled that it could approach China, with which it has an increasingly close relationship, for financial aid. Adnan Mazarei, the IMFs mission chief for Pakistan, is expected to lead an IMF delegation to visit Islamabad on November 10, even as Paul Ross, the IMFs representative in Islamabad, is expected to return to Washington. What we need in the coming period, very quickly and very clearly, is a strengthening of the budgetary position, Mazarei told a local TV network. There have been some structural reforms and the government has taken some steps but much more is needed. Pakistans economy has been blighted by energy shortages, high military spending and revenue shortfalls and business leaders are concerned that reform efforts will stall as the ruling Pakistan Peoples party prepares for parliamentary elections, due within the next 18 months. We [need to] signal to the world our continued commitment to reform and to pursuing a series of steps required to remain financially disciplined, Shaikh said. We want to achieve the kind of benchmarks we have set in our own domestic reform programme. This is a government that wishes to be serious about fiscal restraint. The end of the IMF programme means Pakistan will have to start repaying its loan early next year, with the first $1.2b payment likely to eat into the countrys $18b in foreign reserves. Shaikh, however, is convinced that the economy is stabilising, buoyed by exports and remittances. He was upbeat about Islamabads ability to meet current account and deficit targets, set respectively at 2 and 4 per cent of GDP, while also widening the countrys tax base by bringing an extra 300,000 people into the tax net. At present only about one per cent of the 180m population pay income tax. The IMF earlier this year indicated it was unsatisfied with Islamabads progress in dealing with its chronic fiscal problems and introducing promised structural reforms. Inflation remains persistently high, and budgetary problems are undermining macroeconomic stability, it said in May. A foreign donor based in Islamabad aware of the matter said the IMF was not willing to extend the programme again given Pakistans inaction. An IMF spokesman declined to comment on the Financial Times report, but said that the standby facility had expired on schedule on September 30. Waqar Masud Khan, Finance Secretary, said that Pakistan had not asked for an extension. The countrys foreign reserves are currently at $17 billion, or about five months worth of imports, enough to mean Pakistan no longer needs an emergency IMF programme, he said. Waqar was keen to point out the ending of the IMF programme did not mean Pakistan would become fiscally irresponsible. He said that in the three months to Sept 30, the government had kept the deficit at 1pc of GDP and would likely meet a 4pc deficit target for the current fiscal year. He acknowledged that high electricity subsidy costs were a drag on the budget. But he also said the decision by the US in July to delay the payment of $500 million in military aid to Pakistan, to help it fight Taliban militants on its borders with Afghanistan, had also hurt the budget. The fund has paid out two-thirds of the loan package, with the latest installment disbursed in May 2010. Three months later the country was hit by the worst floods in its history, which led to a separate emergency aid payment of 450 million dollars. Since then however, the IMF and Pakistan have been at odds over fiscal management. The IMF forecasts Pakistan to post growth of just 2.6 percent in 2011, among the lowest in Asia, while inflation is tipped to stand at around 14 percent this year and next - among the highest in the world.