LAHORE - Trade leaders and businessmen reacting to the IMF loan agreement on Saturday said that this programme would lead to more inflation and unemployment besides halting economic growth in the country. They also hinted that after getting loan from the IMF, taxes would be increased and the people particularly the poor have to bear this burden. Talking to The Nation, Chairman Pakistan Traders and Industrial Association Front (PIAF) Irfan Qaiser strongly criticised the government for getting loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and said that it would badly affect the already under pressure economy. "After joining the IMF programme poverty, unemployment and inflation would multiply in the country due to the harsh conditionalities of the fund," Irfan Qaiser added. He said that Pakistan has already implemented the IMF conditions in the country, which would badly affect the industrial growth. "The government has increased two per cent interest rate, abolished subsidies on diesel and petrol and raised gas and electricity prices. All this has been done on the IMF dictation as the Fund has attached such strict and harsh conditionalities with the agreement," he maintained. He further said that it would hit hard the entire economic growth particularly the industrial in the country, pushing more people below poverty line and increasing unemployment. Acting President Lahore Chambers of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) Mian Muzaffar Ali said that this (arrangement) should be one time exercise and sincere efforts should be made to avoid any further aid from the Fund in future.  "If the fund is utilised wisely and properly it would help surmount the financial crunch in the country," he said. Vice Chairman PIAF Shahzeb Akram said that after getting loan from the IMF, taxes would be increased and the people have to bear this burden. He further said that the government should curtail its expenditure to overcome the economic crisis. He also said that the utilisation of IMF loan should be monitored and the government should ensure that the loan would not be utilised in incurring the non-productive expenditure. Shafqat Saeed Priracha said that the present government should cut down the non-development expenditures to improve the foreign exchange reserves instead of going towards IMF or any other financial institutions for getting aid. He also urged the government not to implement the IMF conditions like increase in interest rate and abolition of subsidies, as it would badly affect the economy. Tahir Javed Malik was of their view that the government should accept the IMF programme but not the harsh conditionalities attached with the agreement. The government should provide relief to the public instead of imposing more taxes and increasing interest rates, he added.