Complicated Economic Scenario | Editorial

DESPITE efforts and claims by government leaders about steps being taken to address financial and economic problems besetting Pakistan, there are no indications yet that situation would improve for common man in the days to come. The measures that government has so far initiated or implemented have apparently led to more price-hike and inflation would go further high as full impact of these steps unfolds.
Government is mostly banking upon IMF help and assistance from friendly countries especially China, Saudi Arabia and UAE and things would become clear during the next few weeks. IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde on Thursday confirmed that Pakistan has formally requested financial assistance from the Fund to address its economic challenges. Lagarde said in a statement that the request came during her meeting with Finance Minister Asad Umar and State Bank Governor Tariq Bajwa on sidelines of the IMF and World Bank annual meetings in Bali. Now an IMF delegation would visit Islamabad for holding talks and sorting out details of the package that the country would sign with the Board. It is, however, clear that the package would prove to be yet another bitter pill for the inflation-ridden and resource-starved people. This is because rupee has already been devalued massively in one go and there are reports that it would lose its value further as part of understanding with IMF.
It is understandable that government had to knock at doors of the Fund due to financial crunch and pressure on balance of payment yet the decision runs contrary to the claims repeatedly made by PTI leaders that they would not go for foreign loans and instead raise local resources. Government is lashing at the past two governments for raising the debt burden from 6000 billion rupees to 28000 billion rupees (a figure that has been increased to 30,000 billion just in two days, may be because of devaluation done by the incumbent government). However, they ignore the point that they are going to increase the debt burden more after coming into power and no one knows where we would end up in future. Now it would also be seen how the government spends the loans and in which direction the country would go after implementing strict conditions of the IMF, which never help the economy but made life of the people miserable.

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