Economic situation compelled govt to approach IMF: Fawad Chaudhry

Economic situation compelled govt to approach IMF: Fawad Chaudhry

Islamabad (Staff Report): Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhary on Tuesday said that the government did not want to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) but it is taking decisions to help the country stand on its own feet.

Addressing at a function in connection with Postal Day in Islamabad, he said the government wants to mobilize resources to run affairs of the state but it cannot add more burden on the poor.

Referring to the decision of the government to go to IMF, Fawad said the country presently has foreign exchange reserves just to cover imports worth one and a half month. He said the country has to pay back loans worth eight billion dollars this year.

The minister recalled that the country's foreign debt stood at just 6000 billion rupees in 2008 but reached to 28000 billion rupees during the last ten years.

The previous governments "drowned the country in debt", Chaudhry alleged, "They used the nation's money on unnecessary things or for their own profit."

"If people pay for their medical treatments abroad through the nation's tax returns, then what will become of the country?" he questioned.

Asserting that the process of accountability will continue regardless of objections, Chaudhry said, “Noise is made when you ask people to bring back laundered money. Cry all you want, the process of accountability will not stop."

“Pakistan cannot be run by pleasing everyone,” he added.

"Institutions exploit overseas Pakistanis as soon as they set foot in the court, so why would they come here?" he asked.

Meanwhile, speaking about the requisition submitted by PML-N to call a National Assembly session over Shehbaz Sharif's arrest, the information minister said that the government will call a session of the National Assembly if the opposition submits a requisition with 90 signatures.

On Monday, Finance Minister Asad Umar announced that the government has decided to initiate negotiations with International Monetary Fund (IMF) for the recovery and stabilization of national economy.

In a video message, Finance Minister Asad Umar said said after taking into account the current situation and consultation with the leading economists, the government has decided to approach the IMF for an economic recovery program.

He said that the government inherited 6.6% of fiscal deficit, more than a trillion Rupees of unaccounted for losses in the energy sector and an unprecedented and debilitating current account deficit running at 2 billion dollars a month.

The finance minister said that fiscal and monetary actions were needed to be undertaken without delay to correct the underlying imbalances.

On October 8, Prime Minister Imran Khan also hinted at approaching the IMF for “bridging loans” during the critical phase the country is passing through. Meanwhile friendly countries are being approached to deposit funds in the State Bank to boost reserves.