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There are indications that the Pakistan government has so far failed to win the trust of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), despite the recent stringent measures that have burdened the general public. Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif gave a clear indication of this. Sharif blamed former Prime Minister Imran Khan for the IMF’s mistrust towards Pakistan. Economic experts are of the opinion that the failure to get the next installments of the loan from the IMF will put Pakistan in a very deep crisis.
Prior to Prime Minister Sharif, former finance minister and leader of the opposition Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party Shaukat Tareen had also indicated that talks with the IMF had come to a standstill. Taureen said this while reacting to the encouraging statements of some ministers of Sharif’s government. The ministers had expressed high hopes about getting loans from the IMF. Some media reports said that a consensus has been reached, which will be announced this week. But on Wednesday, Shaukat Tareen said it would take several weeks for the IMF to reach an agreement. He had said – Right now I can only pray for such an agreement, which does not burden the poor.
IMF does not trust Pakistan government
On Thursday, Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif addressed the senators of the ruling Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). During that time he clearly said that the IMF is not ready to trust the Pakistan government. He said that the reason for this is the behavior of the previous government. Sharif said that the former Imran Khan government had entered into an agreement with the IMF to take loans. The agreement included that the price of fuel would be increased. But the Imran Khan government did not do this.
Sharif presented a picture of the country’s economic predicament in front of the senators. He said- ‘We are in very difficult times. The country will have to face more difficult days ahead. Sharif said that if there is an agreement with the IMF, then it will pave the way for getting loans from the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and also from Islamic countries. He said- ‘We cannot repeatedly ask China and Saudi Arabia to give money. These countries must also be thinking that when will Pakistan stand on its feet.
plan to increase the tax net
China last week signed an agreement to provide $2.3 billion in aid to Pakistan. This has given immediate relief to Pakistan. But Sharif said- ‘How long will China continue to help us after all?’ Finance Minister Miftah Ismail has said in an interview to a newspaper that the government has planned to increase the tax net in the country to get the IMF loan. Its target is to collect tax of Rs 7.45 trillion.
Former Finance Minister Shaukat Tarin has also indicated the plight in which Pakistan is in. He told that the inflation rate in the country will reach 35 to 40 percent in this financial year. On the other hand, the growth rate of GDP will be from one to two percent.