Pakistan ‘trying to do its best’: Hafeez Sheikh

Published: April 16, 2011
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Finance minister in Washington to hold talks with IMF officials, White House.

Finance minister in Washington to hold talks with IMF officials, White House.

WASHINGTON: 

Pakistan’s government is cognisant of the many challenges facing the nation’s economy and are taking corrective measures, said Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh who arrived in Washington on Friday to hold talks with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank.

Citing measures towards economic improvement, Sheikh said Pakistan has put in place an “austerity program to cut government expenditures.” He appeared keen to point out that the government was taking ownership of the country’s problems and not looking for an endless bailout from Washington.

“Our economic challenges are our own. We have to deal with them. And we are trying to do the best,” said the minister. “We are trying to mobilize domestic revenues. We are trying to open up our economy and deregulate it, assign a greater role to the private sector.”

The finance minister is leading a delegation to meet with IMF officials to discuss the status of the $11.3 billion suspended loan programme that Islamabad had asked for in the aftermath of a severe financial crisis in November 2008.

Pakistan has thus far received $8 billion of the loan. The disbursements of the rest have been suspended due to the government’s unwillingness to undertake politically unpopular reforms such as ending all subsidies and deregulating the energy sector.

The finance minister will also hold bilateral dialogue with the United States on advancing economic ties. He is scheduled to meet representatives from the US Treasury, the United States Agency for International Development and the White House.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th,  2011.

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Reader Comments (8)

  • shahid imtiaz
    Apr 16, 2011 - 9:13AM

    mr.sheikh try imposing income taxes on the business community first.The shopkeepers,wholesalers,business men don’t pay any income taxes yet when their shops burn down,millions of rupees from the taxes that the salaried class pays are handed out to these freeloaders.
    For how long will the traders community suck the blood of the salaried people?? for how long will the salaried class bear the entire burden of running this country?
    impose the RGST & bring these freeriding traders into the tax net.Recommend

  • John
    Apr 16, 2011 - 9:34AM

    The loans will come through, at least partially, but does PAK political parties understand the crisis.

    Shed your personal ego and interests and listen to the finance ministry and SBP. They are your institutions and what IMF says are essentially what PAK financial institute are saying. Recommend

  • Meekal Ahmed
    Apr 16, 2011 - 9:08PM

    The measures you have taken so far Mr Minister and those in hand simply will not cut it. Recommend

  • Cautious
    Apr 16, 2011 - 10:41PM

    Pakistan has gotten use to entitlements – your best effort is no longer sufficient – time for the IMF to lay down the rules that the rest of the World has to abide by and let Pakistan either implement or deny any further loans. Leaving Pakistan politicians any ambiguity will never work – they only move when bribed or coerced.Recommend

  • Ajay
    Apr 17, 2011 - 1:13AM

    Kayani just spent more than a billion dollars on new submarines and none of the feudal lords cum politicians are paying any taxes. It looks very ugly to be giving any kinds of loans or funds to Pakistan unless the purpose is to further strangulate Pakistan under debtRecommend

  • Hedgefunder
    Apr 17, 2011 - 2:32AM

    Mr. Minister, try using another word than TRYING !! We all Try to be Astronauts, Bill Gates, ETC!!!!!!!!!!!!! Unfortunately simple fact is that you are not trying hard enough!!!!!!
    Your Nation’s Finances and state of accounts are far from being desired !!!!
    This is really like a Aam Aadmi, of the street walking into an Bank and pleading his case for money, when he is not sure when he will be able to repay or how he will repay!!!!
    So much for Honour Brigade of the Land of Pure and its People!!!
    Perhaps Those fully employed, Demo Crowds should consider shouting and screaming in the streets of Lahore or Karachi, about the Great Satan the IMF next!!!
    In event they refuse your request!!! Third World too has an Standard, So what Standard is Pakistan presenting this time!!!!Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Apr 18, 2011 - 12:02PM

    Best ain’t good enough.Recommend

  • K
    Apr 18, 2011 - 2:07PM

    the major issue is the army spending, they are asking for 18% increase in their own budget, while their spending should be decreased, they enjoy the most benefits, perks, have the biggest housing societies, every retired person has got it made, and all because of a bogus war against terrorism and a war in kashmir, which they will ensure will never end. this money should be spent on education & health if we want to get anywhere in the future. its so crazy that almost 50% of our budget goes on our army, which is unbelievable and a waste of money and no one has the balls to stop and change this.Recommend

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