ISLAMABAD: Patron Islamabad Chamber of Small Traders Shahid Rasheed Butt on Sunday said that International Monetary Fund (IMF) is pushing Pakistan into a debt trap.
Debt-fuelled growth is to push country into a severe crisis as government is paying inadequate attention to exports and expanding tax net, he said.
He said foreign exchange reserves were less than five billion dollars in September 2013 which were pushed up to fifteen billion dollars with the help of Saudi grant of $1.5 billion and IMF loans.
He said the downward trend in oil and commodity prices also helped a lot otherwise reserves would have been at a level of 10 billion dollars.
He said during that time exports were reduced by 700 million dollars but it didn’t moved the authorities to introduce much-needed reforms.
He said public debt is increased threefold in three years to almost 18 trillion rupees while government secured loan of 2.7 trillion from domestic sources in last two years on high interest rates.
He said now the interest paid on loans amounts to 52 percent of the total revenue receipts and the situation is benefiting elite while squeezing masses.