Some IMF conditions are anti-people, can't be accepted: Ahsan Iqbal

Minister says PML-N government is trying to negotiate with Wasghinton-based lender to lessen burden on the people

Business Desk
Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal addressing a press conference in Lahore on July 9, 2022. — PID
Federal Minister for Planning, Development, and Special Initiatives Ahsan Iqbal addressing a press conference in Lahore on July 9, 2022. — PID
  • Minister says govt can't mount pressure on people.
  • 'Pakistan's 80% debt was taken in PTI's four years'.
  • Not even India says Pakistan will default, but Khan does: Ahsan.

Hinting at the further delay in reaching the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on the ninth review, Minister for Planning and Development Ahsan Iqbal Monday said that some of the Fund's conditions were too harsh for the common people and can't be accepted.

"Still, the government is trying to negotiate [with IMF] and lessen the burden on the people," the federal minister added.

Speaking in Geo News talk show, Aaj Shahzeb Khanzada kay Sath, the federal minister, said they are negotiating with the IMF to soften their conditions for the ongoing review and strike a deal.

He was asked to share the details regarding the ongoing talks with the Washington-based lender on the Extended Fund Facility (EFF).

It was earlier reported that the IMF has shared a list of prerequisite actions asking the Pakistani authorities to move towards implementing them in the coming weeks if they want to revive the stalled loan programme.

The IMF has told the authorities that the time has come to take “all required actions.”

The report said that a timeframe of two to three weeks has been given for implementing all required actions paving the way for a staff-level agreement and releasing of $1 billion tranche under the EFF.

PTI slammed for creating financial crisis

The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader further said that the establishment and judiciary have realised that the four-year experiment with the country has borne severe consequences. 

Ahsan added that the PTI government did not do any long-term agreements when gas was cheap. Still, when rates went up, they gave subsidies and plunged the country into a financial crisis.

The federal minister claimed that 80% of Pakistan's total debt was taken during Imran Khan's tenure, which they have to handle now. He said that the finance ministry had shared in April that they don't have any development budget to release for the last quarter of 2021-22.

Ahsan said that everyone predicted a default when PTI broke the IMF contract. The PML-N government, he said, took politically unpopular decisions and saved the country. 

"Even India is not speculating about Pakistan's financial crisis but PTI and Imran Khan have launched a war against the country."

He said that the finance ministry is determined to fulfil the IMF's conditions and resume the loan programme; however, they are trying to minimise the burden on people as inflation is already at a historic high, and Pakistan has just suffered a natural disaster that caused damages worth $30 billion.