PM Shehbaz describes how IMF is giving ‘tough time’ to Pakistan
ISLAMABAD: Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif has reiterated that the country was facing many financial challenges, with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) “reviewing every book and subsidy” during the ongoing negotiations over unlocking stalled funding from a $6.5 billion bailout.
“The IMF is looking critically at every book, be it petroleum, finance, commerce, or the power sector,” he said while addressing the Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Assembly on the occasion of Kashmir Solidarity Day in Muzaffarabad on Sunday.
The IMF delegation, headed by Nathan Porter, and the government began discussions on the country’s economic and fiscal policies and the reforms required to complete the ninth review of a $7 billion loan programme. Pakistan desperately needs funding to shoot its reserves.
Prior to the IMF team’s arrival, the currency dealers had removed an unofficial cap on the dollar and the government increased the petrol and diesel prices by Rs35 each. Moreover, the government had also lifted liquefied petroleum gas price by 30 per cent.
Last week, the premier said the IMF delegation was giving a “very tough time” to Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his team over unlocking stalled funding.
PM Shehbaz stressed the need for stopping the “begging spree” once and for all. In the past, he and his financial team have lamented the country’s inability to boost its economy over the years and seeking loans from friendly countries.
“We have to stay alive but only how alive nations live and not by begging. “This has been going on for 75 years. We have to put a stop to this,” he said and vowed to break “this habit of begging”.
“This will stop when the entire nation [stands] united to fight inflation and vows to produce their own resources. It was very easy to say so but doing it was harder. We deliver speeches but after an hour I forget what I had said,” he said.
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