Delay in IMF loans damaged the economy. Deviation from the IMF deal could tarnish the country’s image. Political strife has created uncertainty.

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(March 16, 2022)

Chairman of National Business Group Pakistan, President Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, and All Karachi Industrial Alliance, and former provincial minister Mian Zahid Hussain on Wednesday said IMF loan has been delayed many times during the last few years which has damaged the economy.

Now the agreement reached with the lender is being violated at a time when the economy is almost half-dead, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that deviation from the agreement would tarnish the country’s image and could lead to a ban on the issuance of more loans which will be a doomsday scenario for Pakistan.

Talking to the business community, the veteran business leader said that very serious consequences could follow if the IMF suspends its existing program because of repeated violations.

He said that the different important officials of the present government have experimented so much with the economy that there is no room for further experiments.

On the other hand, global inflation has skyrocketed inflation while hoarding and poor governance have made life difficult for the people, he observed.

Mian Zahid Hussain further said that political uncertainty has caused concern across the country and the business community is fearful while the developments are affecting the investment climate.

Under these circumstances, borrowing more from international financial institutions will be a challenge without which the economy cannot function, he said, adding that at present political conflict is on the rise, the trade deficit is increasing, remittances and foreign exchange reserves are declining and problems for the economy are increasing.

In difficult economic times, tax breaks, reducing energy prices, and the IMF’s growing concern over the industrial package are some issues that must be tackled.

The government is not paying enough attention to the concerns of the international institutions community without considering that in case of separation from the IMF, loans will have to be taken from other costly sources.

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