Talks with the International Monetary Fund have entered a conclusive phase. Pakistan will receive a memo from the international lender in this regard soon.
Power losses and recovery and subsidies on utilities govern the talks, while the Fund has also urged a cut in the defence budget.
The IMF put forth tough conditions as expected, but the Pakistani side was well-prepared as well. Finance Minister is playing a proactive role and an agreement may take place soon, says Asad Butt.
The economist told Khabar Say Aagay host Raza Rumi that the Fund wants Pakistan to cut subsidies and reduce expenditure.
The lender is skeptical about commercial loans, and wants the country to exclude them from its agenda.
He termed the reforms to curtailing bureaucratic expenditure a major challenge for the policymakers.
Economic expert Niaz Murtaza observed that the current economic crisis needs a ‘surgery’. “Success of talks with the IMF will open the doors for financial aid from China and Saudi Arabia, too.”
“Any agreement with the international lender will see a subsequent rise in inflation during the next six months, and this will have an impact on the forthcoming elections as well.”
Pakistan, he stressed, needs financial reforms so that it doesn’t need to approach the Fund ever again.
“Ideally, the talks should result in imposition of taxes on the wealthy. The next elected government will have to opt for reforms and that may be the last opportunity to do so.”
Pakistan seeks a $1 billion loan tranche as part of the $7 billion extended fund facility availed in 2019.
Journalist Zulqernain Tahir said that the PDM has decided to not be pressured by PTI chairman Imran Khan into holding polls.
Even if a decision by the court in this regard turns out to be favourable to the former premier, the PDM has a strategy ready to undo the same.
The PTI chief has asked his supporters to be ready for his call for a possible agitation, if the rulers don’t pay heed to his demand of snap polls.
Flagship Naya Daur TV show Khabar Say Aagay streams Monday to Saturday at 9pm.