ISLAMABAD: After weeks of dithering, Pakistan has decided to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for $8 billion to $10 billion programme to overcome the acute financial problems and improve its credibility at the international level.
Prime Minister Imran Khan has already been briefed about the country’s financial condition ahead of the decision. However, Finance Minister Asad Umer is still reluctant to concede it.
“No decision yet! Will be taken soon,” Asad Umar told this reporter tersely when approached. While Asad still takes time to make the announcement, it has been learnt that he, along with his team, had briefed the prime minister on the country’s financial position and presented a plan to approach the IMF for a package the ministry is reluctant to call a “bailout”.
It has also been learnt that the proposed IMF package is sought to give the economy the much-needed relief, especially in terms of shoring up the country’s fast depleting foreign reserves.
The package would also serve to improve Pakistan’s credibility in the eyes of international financial institutions, particularly the World Bank and Asian Development Bank, to consider the country’s economy potentially capable of handling its financial woes, the premier was reported to have been informed.
Sources in the Finance and Economic Affairs Division said the prime minister was convinced after the briefing that the main reason to approach the IMF was that it will improve the balance of payments, timely payments to meet international obligations, bring discipline in financial matters and improve Pakistan credibility at the international level.