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‘Nothing new in IMF loan, amnesty scheme’


May 17, 2019

LAHORE: International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan was unavoidable and it was taken by the successive government since 50s and amnesty scheme was also not a new thing, rather continuity of the PML-N government while the PTI was anticipating that it would get marriage like reception after coming into the government and world would gift them dollars so it delayed the IMF loan.

These views were expressed by the experts in the Jang Economic Session on ‘What public will get from new IMF loan’. The panellists were Amir Salam, Faiza Amjad, Razi Khan, Javeed Kiyani and Imran Afzal while the session was hosted by Sikandar Lodhi.

Amir Salam said that the government should not have delayed approaching the IMF as the institutions were already at stake. He said the PTI was expecting huge money in the account of support but after failing to get desired result it approached the IMF. The government needed to correct the institutional system, ensure financial discipline to avoid the strict condition. He called for effective planning to get benefits from amnesty scheme, besides implementable strategy to bring down the cost of doing business in order to make exports competitive.

Faiza Amjad said that self-dependency and promotion of Made in Pakistan was crucial to bring out the country from crisis besides discouraging the imports. She demanded the government provide respectful business opportunities for women, besides ending the fearful environment of the FBR to increase the revenue collection. She said that the public should also support the government and stop wasting the resources.

Razi Khan said that population growth was the reason that Pakistan could not get rid of IMF loan which started in 50s. He said bringing the people below poverty line and reducing population growth could not be possible without eight percent annual growth for which proper planning was required. He said IMF gives loans in accordance with fiscal deficit and inflation rate which could be suitable for developed countries but could not affordable for developing countries. He called for policies eradicating poverty and facilitating the poor besides ending indirect taxes burden on them. He said there was nothing new in amnesty scheme and its time limit was improper so it would not be 100 percent successful.

Javeed Kiyani said that system was badly flopped due to ignoring the agriculture sector while domestic production was not meeting the domestic demand due to which import bill was growing. He said Rs700 billion import bill for an agricultural country was alarming and deplorable. He called for system reforms while good economic advantages achieved by focusing on tourism sector. He said problems were growing due to cost of doing business while the IMF loan was taken for repayment of previous loans which would further burden the economy while domestic assets would not grow besides increase in inflation and cost of doing business. He called for social reforms to stop wastage of resources.

Imran Afzal said that delaying the decision of approaching IMF was bad as it had to return previous loans. He said no system was developed on principles while beggars were not the choosers so lender gave loans on its conditions. He said tax amnesty was never a good option in any tenure while there was no gauge to measure the failure or success of the amnesty scheme. He called for revival of business community and investors besides changing FBR behaviour to make the amnesty scheme successful.

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