Prime Minister Imran Khan’s Advisor for Finance, Revenue and Economic Affairs, Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, announced the agreement was signed by the International Monetary Fund (IMF), saying that the IMF will give $6 billion for 3 years to Pakistan. In a special interview on PTV, he said there are several benefits in IMF Bailout package i.e. IMF will give $6 billion as bailout package as well as World Bank and Asian Development Bank will also give an additional amount of $2 to $3 billion from the financial institutions.
Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said if we get $6 billion and this extra 2-3 billion dollars at low interest, then our credit situation will improve significantly, and the IMF bailout programme we will be good investors and they will understand that Pakistan is being reformed.
Speaking on IMF’s terms and conditions, he said that there were many things preferred by the IMF that the government already saw as being in the country’s interest; they include bring into line expenditure with resources, improve the functioning of loss-making Government institutes.
He said, “If we give subsidies to rich people and stop it and take more tax from them, so that the whole country is beneficial, then such things are telling IMF, however they are also in our interest.
As per IMF bailout package Dr. Hafeez said we will try to improve nation’s quality of life and we want to take our people to a happy place, so these changes are also in our interest. Pointing to further increase in the inflation, he said that there are several aspects where we spend more than our position and we have to give a message of financial discipline to the world and as well as to correct our financial situation, then we will increase prices in some fields.
Dr. Abdul Hafeez Sheikh said that about Rs.1.8 billion is being kept for the poor people under the Ehsaas Program or the Benazir Income Support Program (BISP), which is an increase of 80 billion in order to minimize the burden on the common man and the budget is almost doubled.
Further, Hafeez said this would be Pakistan’s last IMF programme “IN SHA ALLAH”, but it depends on how successfully we as a country implement this programme and approach it as a reform or structural change programme instead of a mere revenue-earning programme. IMF says that the ‘Infinite Economic Reform Program’ will be an important factor in economic development and improving the quality of life.