PM vows to correct economy in six months

Published: October 10, 2018
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PM Imran Khan. PHOTO: GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN

PM Imran Khan. PHOTO: GOVERNMENT OF PAKISTAN

ISLAMABAD .: Rejecting criticism over seeking the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said it will take at least six months before the corrective economic measures taken by his government start showing results.

The prime minister said a whopping current account deficit, unprecedented loans and dwindling exports forced the government to obtain the fresh loan to bridge current account gap of $10-12 billion.

However, he said the prevailing economic meltdown would not last long while assuring the countrymen he would steer the country out of the economic crisis.

“Have courage and faith in your government. Just relax. It’s a short but tough financial span and we will successfully go through it,” Imran advised the countrymen, saying good days were not far for Pakistanis and soon he would give a complete roadmap to get out of the prevailing tough times.

IMF only viable option, PM Imran Khan told

He said his government’s critics had tried to create chaos in the country during the last two days over the government’s decision to approach the IMF. “An impression has been created as if the sky is going to fall.”

The prime minister said the PTI government inherited $18 billion current account deficit, which was $3 billion when the PML-N government came to power in 2013.

Similarly, he said during the last 10 years, the country’s debt surged from Rs6 trillion to Rs30 trillion, while the exports also shrank by $5 billion.

“Right now, we do not have enough money to pay installments of the loans obtained by the previous government and pay for the imports.

The government is facing a shortfall of $10-12 billion right now,” Imran observed, adding it was time to pay for the corruption of the past government.

Could China replace the IMF?

“In simple words, the government urgently needs $10-12 billion – it is the same amount laundered annually from Pakistan. Provided we stop money laundering we will not be requiring to go for the loan,” he said, adding nearly $20 billion foreign remittances were annually sent to Pakistan though informal channels.

He said the government had two options – either to request friendly countries to help us bridge this financial gap or to approach the IMF. “We are exercising both the options.”

The reforms the PTI government had introduced would be reflected at least after six months.

“We are reducing our expenditures, broadening the tax base, taking steps to benefit industries, and environment initiatives. Our corrective measures — including a clampdown on money laundering — will take some time to be reflected on ground,” he said.

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Reader Comments (9)

  • Muhammad Awais Nawaz
    Oct 10, 2018 - 11:04PM

    If he would just work, without giving the public hopes and without setting time limits for himself, would he be ablee to work patiently and devotedly. Recommend

  • cuban
    Oct 10, 2018 - 11:36PM

    It’s going to take many years to fix the Pakistan economy and six months won’t even scratch the surface. I would be astonished if IK can get IMF funding accomplished in six months let alone the political/military consensus necessary for a major correction in Pakistan’s economy. Recommend

  • dubious
    Oct 11, 2018 - 12:09AM

    Naive statement from someone who is still struggling to understand the economics of Pakistan. Cutting a deal with IMF is going to be tough .. but convincing the military that the days of unlimiting spending are over maybe even tougher. And then there is always CPEC … the well publicized Chinese investment that turned out to be debt which no obvious way of repaying it – nobody wants to tackle that. Recommend

  • Iftikhar
    Oct 11, 2018 - 1:21AM

    We are with you as long as the money obtained from new loans is not squandered like it was in the previous governments. This money should be used effectively.Recommend

  • Ranjha
    Oct 11, 2018 - 5:11AM

    Keep calm and carry on!Recommend

  • Sajjad
    Oct 11, 2018 - 9:02AM

    “$10b laundered from Pakistan and $20b come in through informal channels.” Once again IK is making unsubstantiated claims that are just nice to hear for his supporters. Khan Sahab please accept your claims before election were wrong and now you will do whatever possible for the country. Pakistani are very forgiving bunch if you’re honest.Recommend

  • Waqas
    Oct 11, 2018 - 12:49PM

    Dear PM please put agriculture sector somewhere on your priorities list as it ensures bread and butter for 70 percent of population directly or indirectly. Recommend

  • gp65
    Oct 13, 2018 - 3:34AM

    “$10b laundered from Pakistan and $20b come in through informal channels.”

    Really? But I thought you were claiming to FATF that anti-money laundering laws and implementation in Pakistan is world-class?Recommend

  • ustaad
    Oct 14, 2018 - 12:38PM

    As an outside observer i feel Imran Khan is giving naive assurances ,also otherwise known as kool-aid. Pakistan is unable to make progress on FATF sanctions, which will only raise the cost of IMF aid. China may come to pakistan’s aid but pakistan should be ready to give lot of land to china in return (land is the only thing pak has) and also give exclusive rights/laws favoring chinese manufacture/imports.Recommend

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