Chinese loan data shared with IMF: Umar

Published: April 16, 2019
Finance Minister Asad Umar. PHOTO: PTI

Finance Minister Asad Umar. PHOTO: PTI

KARACHI: There was a lot of talk about Chinese debt and when the International Monetary Fund (IMF) mission came to Pakistan we shared data on the very first day, said Finance Minister Asad Umar.

“There is nothing really to hide. It is less than 10% of the public debt of Pakistan,” the minister said in a video interview with Bilal Lakhani for The Express Tribune.

Responding to a question on whether Chinese loans were an issue in IMF meetings, Umar said discussions were on policy measures and dealing with the extreme balance of payments crisis.

“There was a difference of opinion between us and the IMF and that’s what was taking long.” Umar shared that there was never any doubt in what direction the government should be headed to fix the economy.

“You could not be running losses of 1.7% of GDP in the electricity and gas sectors. Similarly, the fiscal deficit, which is running at 6.5-6.6%, is not sustainable.” He added, “So the direction is clear that you have to close these gaps but we want to go beyond that. Survival is not good enough. We have to undertake structural reforms which take us on a path of sustainable growth where you are not going through these repeated cycles that Pakistan has been facing.”

Talking about rupee devaluation and stagnant exports, Umar said the impact would be witnessed from April.

“In April, the new season will start and that’s when you will start to see a pickup in exports, so this is the month, the time has arrived, so let’s hope the export numbers are better.”

Published in The Express Tribune, April 16th, 2019.

Like Business on Facebook, follow @TribuneBiz on Twitter to stay informed and join in the conversation.

Facebook Conversations

Leave Your Reply Below

Your comments may appear in The Express Tribune paper. For this reason we encourage you to provide your city. The Express Tribune does not bear any responsibility for user comments.

Comments are moderated and generally will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive. For more information, please see our Comments FAQ.

More in Business