ISLAMABAD: The federal government on Monday announced that it is going to seek the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF’s) assistance in a bid to tackle the country’s financial woes.
In a video message, Finance Minister Asad Umar said that Prime Minister Imran Khan has given his approval for immediate negotiations with the IMF.
“The prime minister, after consulting everyone, decided today that we should open talks with the IMF,” Umar said.
The negotiations will be aimed at reaching a “stabilisation recovery programme” which can be used to tackle the economic crisis, the minister said, adding that with the IMF programme, the government will aim to have a “minimum impact” on low-income classes, while passing on the burden to wealthy citizens.
The premier had on Sunday hinted at approaching the IMF for “bridging loans” during the critical phase the country is passing through, besides exercising options like seeking help from friendly countries to deposit funds in the State Bank to boost reserves.
“We may go to IMF for a loan to handle the country’s financial issues, but, first we will try to get assistance from other countries as we have requested three countries to deposit money in Pakistan’s state bank that would help boost national reserves.”
The IMF, after consultations with the finance minister, had earlier stated that Pakistan needed to quickly secure “significant external financing” to stave off a crisis, though it did not suggest who could supply the money.
Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) led government immediately faced an economic crisis when it took charge in August. Finance Minister Asad Umar had then said that foreign reserves needed to be boosted by at least $8 billion.