Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain has said that the approval of the loan by the IMF and the issuance of the first tranche of 1.2 billion dollars has proved a sigh of relief for the public and businessmen. In a statement issued here on Friday, he said that the decision of the lender will ease the ongoing uncertainty and stop hoarding of dollars which will stabilize the economy, increase the value of the rupee and improve the confidence of investors. Mian Zahid Hussian said that the hike in prices of petroleum products, electricity and gas as a result of the IMF agreement will increase the cost of doing business, but it is better than bankruptcy, therefore we support it.
Pakistan has to repay loans of about 25 billion dollars every year for the next three years, for which it was very important for Pakistan to get more loans, he added. The business leader said that after the agreement with IMF, Pakistan will be able to get more cheap loans from other international institutions. He said that the IMF's main conditions include ending electricity subsidies, keeping debt within serviceable limits, keeping the value of the dollar in line with the market, improve governance, increase revenue, end corruption, reform the energy sector and making country resilient to climate change.
Next installment will be possible only after quarterly review of operational progress on these issues. The IMF's conditions indicate fundamental flaws in the country's economy, but these will be extremely difficult to address in the short term. Mian Zahid Hussain said that climate change has also been mentioned in the terms, which will lead to further tightening of environmental laws. Monsoon and flood season has started in the region, India has released water to Pakistan as usual, while last year Pakistan suffered a loss of 30 billion dollars due to floods. On the other hand, the implementation of aid pledges by the international community for Pakistan to deal with the flood damage last year will also be relatively easy after the IMF programme.
The business leader said that if the quarterly review of the current program was successfully completed, it will be possible to take the next installment from the IMF, without which it was impossible to run the country. Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the current and incoming caretaker governments should take advantage of this opportunity to start the implementation of fundamental otherwise we will have to pay a heavy price for inaction.
Credit : Independent News Pakistan-INP