ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan People’s Party and the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz have joined hands to ‘expose’ the government’s deal with the International Monetary Fund.

The Jamaat-i-Islami also rejected the agreement with the IMF and said the government had pledged the country to the IMF for a few billion dollars.

PPP and PML-N supremos, Asif Ali Zardari and Nawaz Sharif, have given a go-ahead to the parliamentarians to take the government by the horn, political sources said.

“There is a consensus among us (the PPP and the PML-N) to expose the government. The IMF deal is being kept secret due to tough conditions,” a close aide of Zardari told The Nation.

He said the opposition will protest inside and outside the parliament and force the government to disclose the ‘hidden details’ of the IMF deal.

Pakistan earlier reached an accord with the IMF for a three-year, $6 billion bailout package aimed at shoring up fragile public finances and strengthening a slowing economy, officials said on Sunday.

The deal, which still needs approval by the IMF board in Washington, would be the 13th such bailout since the late 1980s.

PPP Vice President Sherry Rehman said: “We disapprove of the anti-people deal this govt has signed with the IMF without disclosing its terms before the parliament. It will pave the way for more inflation and rupee devaluation.”

She added: “On Power tariffs IMF’s wishlist has not been shared with parliament. Grapevine says that the Fund wants the govt to make upfront recoveries of Rs200 billion in power tariffs. That roughly translates into Rs1.93 per unit or 19 percent increase from current rates.”

Sherry Rehman said: “The journey from #TabdeeliSarkar (the government for change) to #GhulamiSarkar (slaver government) is now complete. Other governments ran IMF programmes but nothing like the creeping coup of the economy that’s been happening since new government came in. We will hang ourselves but never go to the IMF ringing in all our ears.”

PML-N leader Uzma Bokhari said the government has ‘cheaply sold out’ the nation to the IMF. “Soon the name of Prime Minister Imran Khan and his government will be written in Guinness Book of Records,” she quipped.

She said the opposition will protest against the government’s decision to make Pakistan a ‘subsidiary’ of the IMF. “Under the current government, all decision will be taken by the IMF,” she added.

PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb said it was better for Prime Minister Imran Khan “to have committed

 

 

suicide (making good on his promise) than to have agreed to the $6 billion deal” with the IMF.

“Pakistan's deal with the IMF is now successful and an 'inflation bomb' has been dropped on the people (of Pakistan). All the relief for the poor has ended and the prices of gas, electricity, and food items are up,” she tweeted.

 

JI rejects agreement with IMF

 

Staff Reporter from Lahore adds: Jamaat-i-Islami has rejected the agreement with the IMF and said that the government had pledged the country with the IMF for a few billion dollars.

JI Amir Senator Sirajul Haq, while addressing the central leaders of the party at Mansoora in Lahore Monday, said that economic policies of the government were not in the interest of the country and were only advancing the IMF agenda.

He announced that after Eidul Fitr, the JI would hold countrywide protest against IMF’s open interference in the country’s affairs.

Sirajul Haq said that the government had neither placed the agreement before the Parliament nor sought suggestions from anyone in this regard. The government itself was lowering the image of the Parliament through its conduct, he added.

The JI chief said that if the agreement was implemented, eight million more people would go below the poverty line within a few years.

He said that the further increase in the prices of gas, POL and electricity besides direct taxes would hit the poor masses most.

He said that a further fall in the rupee value would result in a fresh flood of price hike  and the quantum of the loan on the country would increase further.

Sirajul Haq said that the price spiral during the month of Ramazan had already become unbearable for the masses.

He said that PTI government had been a total failure and had been forced to surrender to the IMF.

He said that instead of deciding to abolish interest and adopting the path of self-reliance, the government had given the reigns of the county’s economy in the hands of the IMF.

He said that the government had agreed to the IMF agenda only to prolong its rule.

This showed that the rulers were least interested in solving the problems of the people and the country and were simply prolonging their rule, he added.

The Pakistan-IMF agreement marks Pakistan’s 22nd bailout, as the country struggles to stave off a looming balance-of-payments crisis while its economy teeters due to low growth, soaring inflation, and mounting debt.

“The programme aims to support the authorities’ strategy for stronger and more balanced growth by reducing domestic and external imbalances, improving the business environment, strengthening institutions, increasing transparency, and protecting social spending,” said Ramirez Rigo, head of the IMF delegation, in a statement.

According to Pakistan´s finance adviser Abdul Hafeez Sheikh, the country is set to receive $6 billion from the IMF in addition to $2 to $3 billion from the World Bank and Asian Development Bank over the next three years. “We have a $12 billion gap in our annual payments and we don´t have the capacity to pay them,” Sheik said in a televised address as he announced the new agreement with the fund.

“Pakistan is facing a challenging economic environment, with lacklustre growth, elevated inflation, high indebtedness, and a weak external position,” the IMF said in a statement outlining the framework deal.

The IMF forecasts Pakistan’s economic growth slowing to 2.9 per cent this fiscal year from 5.2 per cent in 2018, while the central bank has cut its estimate to between 3.5-4 per cent.

Under the agreement, Pakistan will receive about $6 billion for a period of 39 months. The Extended Fund Facility arrangement aims to support the authorities’ strategy for stronger and more inclusive growth by reducing domestic and external imbalances, removing impediments to growth, increasing transparency, and strengthening social spending.

An ambitious structural reform agenda will supplement economic policies to rekindle economic growth and improve living standards.

Financing support from Pakistan’s international partners will be critical to support the authorities’ adjustment efforts and ensure that the medium-term program objectives can be achieved.