Aaj English TV

Monday, June 24, 2024  
17 Dhul-Hijjah 1445  

Pakistan’s economy unlikely to sustain without IMF deal: experts

Shahbaz Rana says the government seems non-serious regarding the programme

Renowned journalist Mehtab Haider fears that Pakistan’s economy would not sustain itself even in the first quarter of the upcoming fiscal year if the government fails to secure a deal with International Monetary Fund (IMF).

“The country has $4.09 billion in the foreign exchange reserves and after [debt] repayment in June, our reserves will fall below $3 billion,” he said while speaking to Asma Shirazi in Aaj TV progamme Faisal Aap Ka.

Journalist Shahbaz Rana, who was also on the panel, said that the government is acting irresponsibly, making it difficult for the country to reach an agreement with the IMF.

“I think the government’s team is not on the same page regarding the programme,” he claimed. “The prime minister is serious about the IMF programme, however, there are some cabinet members who do not want to complete the programme.”

The only thing that has saved Pakistan from a default is strong curbs on imports, he said, adding that this has also resulted in skyrocketing inflation in the country.

He was of the view that the government is trying to take things this way till August when it completes its term, and then let the caretaker government take care of it.

Journalist Ali Khizar said that the issue regarding the IMF programme has been there for more than one year. “The previous government announced subsidies when it felt that the opposition was tabling a vote of no-confidence. The current government also kept the subsidies in place for months.

The government’s indecisiveness regarding the programme may result in an economic default, he said, adding that the country will find it extremely difficult to recover from that default.

For Khizar it is essential to make policies and reforms to provide stability to the economy. “IMF is important. However, we also need to balance budget numbers as the IMF has said. We need to increase our tax revenue, not by just taxing the already taxed, but by increasing the tax base.”

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Asma Shirazi

Ali Khizar

Mehtab Haider