KARACHI - Pakistan has received a $2.3 billion Chinese consortium loan that will help stabilise its fast-depleting foreign reserves, finance minister Miftah Ismail said on Friday.

The South Asian nation is still seeking International Monetary Fund assistance to ease a dire financial crisis.

Foreign exchange reserves held by the central bank have fallen to as little as $8.2 billion, and the Pakistani rupee is at record lows against the U.S. dollar.

"I'm pleased to announce that Chinese consortium loan of roughly $2.3 billion has been credited into State Bank of Pakistan account today, increasing our foreign exchange reserves," minister Ismail said in a tweet.

Pakistan entered agreed a 39-month IMF programme in 2019, but less than half its $6 billion size has been disbursed as Islamabad has struggled to keep targets on track.

On Friday, the government announced it would impose a one-year, 10% tax on large-scale industry to raise over 400 billion Pakistani rupees ($1.93 billion) as it tries to unlock a new tranche of IMF funds to avert a balance of payments crisis.

(Reporting by Syed Raza Hassan; Editing by Catherine Evans)