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.

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