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Asad says only approach to IMF if conditions are in Paksitan’s favour

Asad says only approach to IMF if conditions are in Paksitan’s favour
January 24, 2019
ISLAMABAD (92 News) – Minister for Finance Asad Umar said that the government would approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) only when the conditions are in the favour of Pakistan’s economy and people. Addressing a press conference after presenting the budget, the minister said the friendly countries have supported us and the government took emergency steps to improve the situation. “The alarming situation has been defused and the situation will improve further in the next two weeks. Economy will see enduring stability on completion of the tenure of PTI government due to effective measures taken,” Asad Umar said. The finance minister said that the government is not facing any major problem regarding economy. He said that the government has started the first phase of giving relief to the people and bringing reforms to achieve economic stability, adding that consultations were held with stakeholders to devise a course of action and difficult decisions had to be taken. Asad Umar said that the purpose of reforms package is to increase investment in the country. He said taxes will be on profit earned and not on investment. The minister said with the announcement of economic reforms package at the National Assembly yesterday, the government has begun a roadmap but said a lot more work is still needed to be done. To a question about possible financial assistance from the International Finance Corporation (IFC), he reacted angrily and said that it was wrong to assume that the IFC offered ‘free loans’. “We will not take dictation from any country and will decide [the matters] independently”, he said. The finance minister said that Pakistan’s economy had been facing challenges repeatedly, and the increasing gap between exports and imports exacerbated the problem. “We have taken emergency steps to support the economy; the ‘economic reforms bill’ will herald the beginning of economy’s betterment”, he said. He said that Pakistan’s economy faced three deficits, i.e. widening gap between exports and imports, a decline in forex reserves, and low investments. “Situation has, however, improved with steps taken by the State Bank (SBP), and the economic reforms bill would further consolidate the improvements made”, he said. Umar claimed that the government had worked out the steps needed to reduce the financing gap for FY2019, and an agreement had been reached with China which would be announced soon.