IMF Gone:  A claim no easy to trust
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2016-08-08 08:57:13

IMF Gone:  A claim no easy to trust

Pakistan will not renew its bailout package with the International Monetary Fund. After the IMF completed the 12th and final review of the current bailout package, Finance Minister Ishaq Dar announced what had been expected for weeks. Dar’s bold words: ‘Pakistan has said goodbye to the IMF’. This is a hope we share with the finance minister. Pakistan will, however, remain committed to following the IMF’s reform plan to raise revenues and reform key public sector enterprises. With only the last tranche of $102 million of the $6.6 billion loan left to be approved, it is time to look at whether Pakistan will be forced to return to the borrowing table again. For a country whose single largest component of public spending is foreign debt servicing – Pakistan currently pays 24% of the GDP repaying foreign loans – the end of another extensive borrowing scheme can only be good news. The government and IMF officials have been quick to point out that the successful review indicates the country’s ability to stand on its own feet without requiring foreign aid. The Finance Minister, Ishaq Dar, went further and hailed the end of the loan scheme as a success for the government’s policies – despite that fact that it failed to achieve targets on net domestic assets and budget deficit. While there is truth in these claims, the end of this loan scheme does not necessarily mean ‘goodbye’ to the IMF.

If the economic situation worsens, Pakistan may yet have to return to the body for help – true end to dependence will come once local economic indicators show growth and revenue collection is increased greatly. Pakistan has a long history of borrowing from the IMF – since 1958, Pakistan has availed 16 programmes. The end of one scheme does not mean permanent economic success. This government has surely improved the economy from the state it found it in when it came into power, but core economic indicators are still growing too slowly.The key now would be to focus on tax collection and sound economic policy rather than to rely on a foreign aid package always being there.
The sooner it can free our GDP from debt servicing, the sooner the government can focus on actual development.


Categories:   Pakistan ، Business ،
Tags:   pakistan ، Ishaq Dar ، IMF ، economy ،
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