IMF decision to give $700 million tranche laudable
Karachi: Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain said on Friday that the approval of the seven hundred million dollar tranche for Pakistan by the IMF Board is a welcome development.
The move will decrease the financial difficulties of the country and increase the confidence of local and international investors in Pakistan while facilitating new loans from other international institutions, he said.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that the loan payments were stopped by the IMF in December 2022, and it agreed to help Pakistan after the Shehbaz Sharif government agreed to its conditions.
The IMF agreed to a three-billion-dollar standby loan to Pakistan in June 2023 when the country was suffering from wrong policies, losses of government institutions, and irresponsible spending, he recalled.
At that time, the IMF forwarded a loan of 1.2 billion dollars to Pakistan as the first tranche, and now, after the payment of 700 million dollars by the IMF, the total payment will be 1.9 billion dollars, while 1.1 billion dollars in loans are still to be paid to Pakistan.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that the remaining amount will be paid to Pakistan after review by the lender, which will help the country recover from the worst economic crisis in its history.
The business leader said that the IMF has played a laudable role which has reduced the country’s financial difficulties, but this money is not sufficient. The friendly countries must also come forward to lift Pakistan out of problems.
The United Arab Emirates must roll over the two billion-dollar loan because the country’s conditions and resources are not able to repay it.
Mian Zahid Hussain further said that the financial support of friendly countries is necessary to get Pakistan out of this quagmire. Apart from this, the deferred payment condition from Saudi Arabia will also require an extension of one year.
Saudi Arabia’s monthly oil loan facility of one million dollars expired last month, while the two billion dollar loan arranged from the United Arab Emirates is to be repaid in the current month.
Pakistan has to pay off $28.4 billion in debt, liabilities, and interest this year, which will be a challenge, and the rollover of debt will be necessary to remain in the IMF programme and meet its conditions.
Even in these circumstances, people will be responsible for paying the costs of failed businesses and unnecessary expenses.
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