Economic Tide Is Turning for Pakistan
KARACHI (Dispatches) - Pakistan will not rush for an IMF bailout package and is considering alternative options to tide over its economic crisis, Finance Minister Asad Umar said Saturday.
A finance bill would be presented on January 23 with an aim to provide an ease of doing business environment instead of focusing on revenue generation, he told the businessmen at the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
Umar in his address presented a positive picture of country’s economic future, saying that the result of the major corrective steps being taken by the PTI led government would soon start making a visible impact. Talking about their policy adopted to tackle the economic crisis they inherited, he said, they decided against hurrying for a bailout program of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and seek the help of friendly countries instead.
Though the negotiations with the Fund were still ongoing, the government would not borrow from IMF at least for now and was therefore exploring other possible avenues to help the economy get back on track. Talking to media persons later, he declared the government has overcome the [graver] economic challenges.
Cash-strapped Pakistan is negotiating a $8 billion bailout package from the IMF to overcome a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country’s economy. To meet its immediate needs, the government reached out to some friendly countries for economic assistance including Saudi Arabia, China and the UAE since Prime Minister Khan assumed office in August.
Pakistan and the UAE finalized the terms and conditions of a $6.2 billion support package for Islamabad this month. Last month, the UAE said it will soon give $3 billion to Islamabad. The rest of the support will be in form of oil supply on deferred payment. The country is receiving a similar package amounting to $6 billion from the Saudi Arabia. Three billion dollars of this amount comprises cash transfer while the Middle East oil giant will give oil worth three billion dollars on deferred payment.