Pakistan needs to explore alternatives to IMF

President FPCCI on the occasion of book launch on Alternative to the IMF and other out of the box solutions by Dr. Shahida Wizarat, the eminent independent economist and author of more-than 100 books and papers said that the treasure of knowledge applied by the author has opened a debate in context of failure of another IMF program.

Mr. Irfan Iqbal Sheikh added that this envisages the need of debating to develop better alternatives available to sustain the economy, which has not been able to frame its structure since the rollout of 23 programs which Pakistan completely or partially has followed. He said that FPCCI the apex body representing private sector in trade, industry and service sector look forward for the alternatives built-in and applied-in from within available resources and knowledge so that the in-home structures can be the better prescription to treat the present severe ailing and crises ridden economy.

Dr. Shahida Wizarat said that the debt crisis causing outflow of massive revenues to service debts and interest payments alone, along with the very harsh conditionalities of IMF for lending, have led to very undesirable consequences on income distribution and poverty in Pakistan. Therefore, Pakistan needs to explore alternatives to IMF; including, tapping external resources from all the sources and not just export earnings; economic policies should be expansionary rather than recessionary as we are forced to have as the result of compliance to IMF and the costs of economic course correction should be transferred to the wealthy from the poor.

Ambassador Syed Hassan Javed at the book launching event said that the event is most appropriate as 28 developing countries including Pakistan have been short listed in the forecasts of IFIs, to have real chances of economic meltdown, if they continue with their current policies, which are paradoxically drawn by IMF itself. He said that it is the time that IMF needs to acknowledge clearly failure of its own prescriptions, conditionality, wisdom and programs. However, Dr. Shahida’s book is remarkable addition to literature on this subject. He said that Dr. Shahida’s book appears as a Hybrid book, meant to fight a Hybrid war, with Hybrid knowledge combining economics, diplomacy, politics and statecraft. It is a remarkable analysis of all development issues as well as solutions with strategic clarity.

Engr M. A. Jabbar, Vice President FPCCI while moderating the event and speaking on the occasion said that we must refer to understand the Einstein insanity “similar prescription with expected different results” is an analogy with Pakistan which has experienced quarter of a century IMF programs but yet it is not able to even marginally appear to be safe from the external account ambush. The example is of paying back 79 Billion Dollars in external debt by accumulating same amount in subsequent 4 years, the recent history has recorded so. He said that much has been integral to reforms asked by IMF all the time when it enters in the claim of disciplining the Pakistan’s economy but there appears to be more complications and deterioration in economic governance in context of its bad and questionable quality and professionalism. The IMF is also accountable to its non-working treatment of the economy of Pakistan, which has caused socio economic disorder, a threat for the political and surviving stability required for a peaceful country to attract others for participating in the development economics of the country.

Mr. Nasser Hyatt Maggo Immediate Past President FPCCI said that as a business leader we tried to invite the attention of fiscal and monetary policy managers to sit with us and find the alternate solutions including in specific barter trade, currency swap and common currency settlement. He deplored the working of SBP in respect of non-availability of data in regard of import volumes and amounts as an excuse for the inability to manage the clearances of import economy. He said that SBP has also been not pro-active in taming the ill and wrong doing of banking system in Pakistan. He supported Dr. Shahida’s contents of the book supporting substituting barter trade to offset the increase in US Dollars demand.

Mr. Amjad Rafi Former President KCCI and business leader gave deliberations on the hard work which FPCCI has been doing to invite the due attention towards increasing the trade through transit and reach upto CIS for considering the same as alternate solution to reduce the demand on foreign exchange.

Mr. Suleman Chawla SVP FPCCI welcomed all the participants and said that the occasion provides all of us a chance to benefit from the knowledge leading towards increasing the advocacy for sustainable economy, which has been plagued by the complete wrong decision makings in economic management which has brought us to the bankruptcy level and is killing entrepreneurship, some of which will not be revocable.

Mr. Zakaria Usman Former President FPCCI also participated and said that the approach towards active import substitution policy would be helpful in averting the trade imbalance and save us from external shocks.

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