In a Bloomberg interview, Imran says he would support a continued role for the IMF if he wins the election.
Former Pakistani Prime Minister Imran Khan said he would support a continued role for the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to stabilize the economy and prevent debt defaults, as the ousted leader bids to return to power this year. Are confident. Bloomberg on Wednesday.
In an interview, Imran, who was ousted by a no-confidence vote last year, said he hoped to win a majority when elections were held. While his party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), continues to push for early elections, they are due sometime after August.
The PTI leader said he was preparing a “radical” plan to propel an economy that he predicted would take a turn for the worse by then.
“If we come to power, we won’t have much time,” said the former prime minister, who was criticized when his party came to power in 2018, but delayed approaching the IMF. happened
Now, to a question on sticking with the IMF, with which the country has finally signed up to a disbursement program of nearly $6.5 billion to Pakistan that has been stalled amid issues related to the lender’s demands, he Said: “Now we have no choice.”
The IMF has called for fiscal measures to reduce the budget deficit, such as additional revenue commitments, increase in PDL and GST on petroleum products, and increase in electricity and gas rates.
Pakistan’s economy is currently going through its worst period in history, as the cash-strapped country struggles to access funds from bilateral and multilateral institutions while a key IMF program continues to falter.
Moreover, with interest rates already at 17 percent, inflation reaching 24.5 percent in December, and dwindling foreign exchange reserves, Pakistan remains in dire need of external financing.
Reserves of the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) have declined significantly in recent months, reaching $4,601.2 million, the latest SBP data showed.
“We have to create policies that our country has never had before,” Khan said. “We fear a situation like Sri Lanka,” he said, referring to the default in Sri Lanka.
Imran said he would re-appoint Senator Shaukat Tareen as the finance minister after holding the post in the previous PTI administration.
In one of his government’s last major moves, Imran announced a cut in petroleum product prices by Rs 10 per liter and electricity rates by Rs 5 per unit in February last year.
The move sparked a controversy that halted the IMF program.
The former prime minister said that his decision was based on getting subsidized fuel from Russia. Imran had met Russian President Vladimir Putin in Moscow in February last year on the day Russia invaded Ukraine.
He said that President Putin expressed his commitment to help Pakistan in energy supply during their talks.
Regarding foreign relations, Imran said that he would pursue an independent foreign policy that would not depend on any single country like the US or China.
The PTI chief said that he had a good relationship with former President Donald Trump but the relationship deteriorated under his successor. “It was only when Joe Biden came along that for some reason I felt there was a reluctance,” he said, adding that he believed it was because the U.S. had to withdraw from Afghanistan. Needed someone to blame.