IMF conditions are harsh, but there is no other option: Mian Zahid Hussain

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said the IMF officials have become tired of promises and assurances and they will not act unless Pakistan takes action. Government must take the required decision to initiate the ninth review of the international organization, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the finance minister of the former government delayed the agreement with the IMF until he was fired, but his delay led to the collapse of the economy. Now the current government is repeating the same mistake while delaying the agreement which ruining the economy.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the terms of the IMF and the proposed mini-budget will prove a disaster for the people, but it is necessary for the survival of the county.

Apart from elitism and wrong policies, the economy has been damaged as a result of the epidemic and the Russia-Ukraine war, and to get out of this situation, Pakistan has to abide by strict IMF conditions.

There is no option but to accept the conditions and get its financial support as Pakistan has almost exhausted its foreign exchange reserves. Attempts were made to run the economy without the IMF which achieved nothing but economic misery and public anger.

Now the friendly countries have also refused any kind of help and have made it clear in clear words that to get their help, Pakistan has to put its house in order.

In these circumstances, the government has decided to present a mini-budget while the determination of the value of the dollar will also be left to the market, which will see an immediate sharp increase in the value of the dollar and inflation may exceed 35 percent.

The IMF’s stringent conditions are aimed at enabling our fragile economic system, but it is also a fact that due to the increase in electricity and gas prices, petroleum levies and other taxes, the hardships of the people will increase while the lives of the business community will become bitterer.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the government has been hesitating on the matter of accepting the terms of the international financial institution for several months due to the fear of political loss, but this hesitation has not reduced the economic problems but has increased issues.

Tough decisions have become necessary to avoid further losses and stabilize the economy, otherwise, the country will be completely bankrupt. In the event of an agreement, the international organization will release approximately 1.20 billion dollars immediately, while it will be easier to borrow from friendly countries, international organizations, the commercial market, and other sources, which will improve the country’s conditions for some time.

And if the long pending agricultural, economic, and financial reforms are carried out during this time, Pakistan will become sustainable.

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