Pak­istan to ap­proach IMF and ‘friendly coun­tries’ for loans: Khan

Times of Oman - - WORLD -

IS­LAM­ABAD: Pak­istan will go to the In­ter­na­tional Mon­e­tary Fund and friendly coun­tries for fi­nan­cial help to avert a loom­ing bal­ance of pay­ments cri­sis, Prime Min­is­ter Im­ran Khan said on Wed­nes­day.

His com­ments sug­gest the gov­ern­ment will ap­proach both Saudi Ara­bia and China for loans along­side any as­sis­tance pro­vided by the IMF. Bei­jing and Riyadh have pro­vided Pak­istan with fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance in the past. Khan said the cur­rent ac­count deficit was about $18 bil­lion.

“We do not have enough dol­lars to pay the in­stal­ments of our loans,” he said in a speech. “We de­bated and de­cided to go both the IMF and coun­tries which are our friends.”

Khan, who took of­fice in July, has been seek­ing al­ter­na­tives to a se­cond IMF bailout in five years - which would be likely to im­pose tough con­di­tions on gov­ern­ment pol­icy, lim­it­ing his vi­sion of an Is­lamic wel­fare state - but de­cided on Mon­day to open talks with the in­ter­na­tional lend­ing body.

Fi­nance Min­is­ter Asad Umar is due to meet of­fi­cials at this week’s an­nual con­fer­ence of the IMF and the World Bank in Bali, In­done­sia, to dis­cuss a po­ten­tial pack­age.

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