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Business

Web Desk
October 8, 2018

Pakistan to approach IMF for bailout: Asad Umar

Business

Web Desk
Mon, Oct 08, 2018

ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar announced that he would approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a bailout to address the mounting balance of payments crisis.

Prime Minister Imran Khan approved the proposal to hold talks with the IMF for a bailout programme after consulting experts and stakeholders, said the minister in a video message released on Monday.

"Since taking power, the PTI government had reiterated that it would explore multiple avenues in order to bring back a destroyed economy to stabilisation point," he said. 

The minister said that no options would be ruled out and all would be pursued simultaneously in this emergency situation. 

"Currently, the decision has been taken to start negotiations with the IMF with the solid focus that the policies implemented post a bailout will not burden the poor, and that a balance will be struck in who takes the pressure of the loans," he said.

While previous governments took loans and bailouts, and then forgot about working to pay them off till the next round of payments came in, the PTI led government is to focus on revenue generation and recovery of stolen wealth from day 1, he maintained.

The country has been handed over in such a debt situation, with little or no revenue generation, and hence to stabilise we have to swallow the bitter pill of a bailout.

But as Prime Minister reiterated yesterday,the revenue generation, and the recovery of billions siphoned off that have led to this debt trap has already begun. And the results of all these policies will begin to show in the next 6-12 months. Pakistan will not again have to go for bailouts again, he added .

The finance minister will lead a delegation to  hold meetings with the officials of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank in Bali this week. 

The delegation will attend the meeting taking place on the Indonesian island from October 12 to 14, sources within the Ministry of Finance said, according to Geo News.

Finance Minister Umar will meet IMF officials on the sidelines of the meeting, where he will discuss the challenges confronting the Pakistani economy and the proposed IMF loan programme, the sources said.

Pakistan has said it might need to return to the IMF to address its mounting balance of payments crisis but would seek funding from friendly countries first.

Prime Minister Imran Khan, during a press conference on Sunday, blamed the country's economic woes on the previous government and said the country “may go to IMF for loan to handle [its] financial issues."