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IMF INTERIM PANEL APPROVES A 50 PERCENT RESOURCE INCREASE

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The International Monetary Fund's policymaking committee announced approval Tuesday of a 50 percent increase in resources to help meet the growing demand for loans in Eastern Europe and developing countries.

At the insistence of the United States, the IMF's Interim Committee linked the increase in member nations' capital contributions, called quotas, with a plan to pressure 11 poor countries who are $4 billion behind on their loan payments.Debtor countries had opposed the link, but U.S. officials believe it was crucial to getting approval for the quota increase from Congress, where many members are skeptical of foreign aid.

In exchange for the link, the United States agreed to consider a quota hike in 1993, two years earlier than it sought originally.

"Despite reservations that a number of members had on certain individual elements of the package, we recognize this was a consensus. Everybody had to give in order to achieve a compromise," said Canadian Finance Minister Michael H. Wilson, chairman of the 22-member Interim Committee.

The quota change, which must be approved before the end of 1991 by nations representing 85 percent of the fund's voting power, will raise the fund's resources to $180 billion from the current $120 billion.

The Interim Committee also agreed to reorder the voting power within the fund, allowing Japan to vault from fifth place to second, behind the United States, in recognition of its growing financial power. West Germany will share the second position.

On other subjects, the Interim Committee promised to support reforms in Eastern European countries emerging from four decades of communism but not at the expense of developing countries. It welcomed applications for fund membership from Czechoslovakia and Bulgaria. Poland, Hungary, Yugoslavia and Romania are already members.

The panel also pointed to progress under Treasury Secretary Nicholas F. Brady's 14-month-old program to reduce the crushing $1.3 trillion debt burden on Third World countries, noting that commercial banks have negotiated agreements with six countries: Mexico, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Venezuela, Chile and Morocco.