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Approach to IMF ‘unavoidable compulsion’, says Fawad Chaudhry

ISLAMABAD: A day after the government made formal announcement to seek economic bailout  from the International Monetary Fund, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry says the government had no plan to approach the IMF, ‘but the current economic situation compelled us to take hard decision’.

‘A 45-day import cover is just left at the moment, hence the government was left with no option but to approach the IMF, he told a press conference today.

Mr. Chaudhry said the government acquired reins of power at a time when it was undergoing several crises. He said hard decisions are being taken to revive country’s economy.

The minister said the accountability would not stop no matter how much ‘hue and cry’ was raised by the protesters.

Referring to decisions taken by the previous government, he said they [the PML-N] govt were destined to win elections after they appointed their people in several institutions.

He informed that $8 billion were needed to pay off loans this year. The minister added that the government would provide investment opportunities to overseas Pakistanis on priority.

He underlined that weakness of institutions was tantamount to fragility of the state.

“We have to hold all those accountable who plundered national wealth to boost their own wealth,” he added.

Fawad Chaudhry expressed surprise that “furor erupts after the government takes a step forward to recover looted money from the corrupt elements.”

He stated that the government had no problem if the opposition wanted National Assembly session to be convened. “But, they should first submit requisition for the session,” he said.

The federal government on Monday announced to approach the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for an “economic recovery program”.

According to a statement released by Ministry of Finance, the government, after taking into account the current situation and consultation with the leading economists, decided to approach the IMF for stabilisation and an “economic recovery program”.

The statement explains that immediately upon assuming office, the present government had expressed serious concerns on the dire economic situation of the country and had committed to undertake a quick evaluation of all possible options.

“The government inherited 6.6% of fiscal deficit, more than a trillion rupees of unaccounted for losses in the energy sector and an unprecedented and debilitating current account deficit running at $2 billion a month. To correct the underlying imbalances, fiscal and monetary actions needed to be undertaken without delay,” reads the statement.

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