(August 02, 2019)
President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum (PBIF), President All Karachi Industrial Alliance (AKIA), Senior Vice Chairman of the Businessmen Panel of FPCCI and former provincial minister, Mian Zahid Hussain on Friday said IMF has given impossible targets to Pakistan without properly diagnosing economic ills and giving implementable solutions.
He said that quarterly review of IMF can result in another crisis if targets were not achieved.
Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that Pakistan has repeatedly taken loans from IMF but the economy could not be stabilized which indicate that IMF recipe is designed to avert crisis only.
He said that IMF conditions make life difficult for masses, increase divide between rich and poor, and choke growth while the recent programme will push around eight million Pakistanis into poverty.
The former minister noted that the economy grew by five percent during the last few years but taxes were increased by 20 percent. The current growth rate has been estimated to be 2.4 percent while taxes have been increased by 35 percent which is impossible to achieve. He said that the IMF’s targets have resulted in widespread demonstrations by the trading community while the industrialists are also restless.
Mian Zahid Hussain said that new tax measures may help the government fetch an additional Rs 1.8 trillion but it will not benefit masses as one trillion rupees will be diverted to repay loans. IMF has estimated an increase of eight percent in exports, it has claimed that exports will jump to 36.7 billion dollars in five years and projected revenue to the tune of Rs 7 trillion by next years which is unlikely.
He said that current interest rates and set of policies will not help the government achieve targets and the government needs to boost investments, trigger developmental work on CPEC and soften IMF’s conditions with the help of the US to improve the situation.