Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Friday that the current EFF program of IMF is ending in a week, and now the chances of a tranche are slim. As a result of Prime Minister Mian Shehbaz Sharif’s meeting with the IMF MD, if the suspended loan is granted, then both the international organisation and Pakistan will have to take special measures to do so, he added.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the IMF would have to withdraw from some of its conditions, and Pakistan would also have to change the federal budget.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the finance minister Ishaq Dar has already noted that the IMF is looking at the issue of Pakistan geopolitically, which seems somewhat correct.
The business leader said that apart from Prime Minister, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar is also meeting the ambassadors of America and important countries to restore the program.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government had fulfilled most of the conditions of the IMF. Still, compared to the financial requirements of six billion dollars, 4 billion dollars have been arranged.
The finance minister has also clarified that national interests cannot be sacrificed for the IMF, in which case the IMF’s inflexible attitude makes it impossible to revive the program.
He said that due to the IMF, Pakistan had increased the interest rate to 21 per cent, the petroleum levy has been increased to 50 rupees per litre, and the value of the rupee has also been reduced, but the lender still needs to be satisfied.
The IMF has also described the current budget as going against the basic terms of its program, which include increasing the tax base and reforming failed public institutions.
One of the reasons for economic losses is that instead of implementing reforms in any sector, including the energy sector and reducing losses, the government increases the tariff, which affects the people and the economy.
Instead of reducing the deficit in the power sector, its price is increasing again and again, but instead of improving the situation, it is worsening.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that ten months have passed since the suspension of the IMF programme, our foreign exchange reserves are touching the lowest level, and the imports are also being stopped due to a shortage of foreign exchange.
Now that all hope for the restoration of the IMF program seems to be fading, the government should take the people and the business community into confidence in its Plan B to save the country from default and restore the economy so that the market uncertainty can be addressed, he demanded.