Pakistan

Pakistan won’t approach IMF for bailouts, considering other options, says Pak Finance Minister

Pakistan will not approach the IMF for a new bailout package and is considering alternative options to tide over its economic crisis, Finance Minister of Pakistan, Asad Umar said on Saturday.

Umar said that the Imran Khan led government had decided against entering into any new bailout programme with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for now and was exploring other possible avenues to help Pakistan’s struggling economy get back on track.

Cash-strapped Pakistan is negotiating a USD 8 billion bailout package from the IMF to overcome a severe balance-of-payments crisis that threatens to cripple the country’s economy.

The government reached out to some “friendly countries” for economic assistance including Saudi Arabia, China and the UAE since Prime Minister Khan assumed office in August.

Umar said different alternative options were being explored instead of rushing into a new IMF programme which would bring more stringent economic conditions for Pakistan.

Pakistan and the UAE finalised the terms and conditions of a USD 6.2 billion support package for Islamabad this month.

Last month, the UAE said it will soon give USD 3 billion to Islamabad.

In October, Saudi Arabia agreed to provide Pakistan USD 3 billion in foreign currency support for a year to address its balance-of-payments crisis.

During Prime Minister Khan’s visit to Saudi Arabia on October 23, it was announced that the oil-rich country will provide a USD 6 billion package to Pakistan to support its ailing economy.

The package included USD 3 billion balance of payments support and USD 3 billion in deferred payments on oil import.

Pakistan’s all weather ally China has also pledged to provide a generous aid to Islamabad to overcome its financial woes. Beijing has not yet revealed the quantum of its financial support.

 


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