‘More loans to further aggravate economy’
Karachi: Ruling elite is hell-bent to hold the begging bowl before the door of International Monetary Fund (IMF) for which the caretaker government has already pave way by heavy depreciation of the rupee; however, like the previous IMF loans, yet another bailout of this international lender would be a sure recipe for disaster for Pakistan and Pakistanis, said Pasban e Pakistan President Altaf Shakoor here.
In a statement, he said the IMF assistance is a proven way to discourage the economies of developing nations. He said no any developing country of the world has ever attained financial and economic freedom with the help of IMF loans. Pakistan is amongst the most affected countries of the world, whose thriving economy was stopped and reserved thanks to the IMF programs.
He said ever-growing foreign loans, their neck-breaking interests and falling economy are the direct outcomes of these loan programs.
Quoting leading economist Dr Shahida Wazarat, he said before entry of IMF in Pakistan, this country was relatively a prosperous nation before the decade of 1990s. He said after 1990 when democratic government came to Pakistan, they directly were trapped into IMF loans and the result is a continuous economic degradation of this nation. He said before 1990 Pakistan was able to run its economy without budgetary support of IMF, but the so-called democratic governments played an anti-nation role to push this country to the economic slavery of international monetary players like the IMF.
Altaf Shakoor said the government could also go to alternatives without going for IMF borrowing. He said we should learn from the experience of Malaysia and Turkey and grow local economy without foreign loans. He said we should grow bilateral trade with regional countries, especially the neighbors.
He said the Pakistan has the most liberal foreign exchange regime in the world for outflow of money from this country. Last year some $10bn were sent abroad through legal channels only and this year it is expected that $15bn would be sent abroad from Pakistan through legal channels. He said the government should tighten this liberal regime to check free outflow of dollars from Pakistan.
Shakoor said all sorts of imported luxury goods including food and beverages should be banned immediately. He said American President Trump is putting curbs on imports of foreign goods to boost the US economy, even when the USA is the leading economy of the world. He said why we are not ready to learn from the Trump’s policies.
He said sagging economy is not only an economic issue of Pakistan but also a grave security concern. He feared that another IMF loan would further damage our economy. He said under the expected IMF program, we may obey the conditions of limiting the scope of the CPEC besides further devaluation of the Pakistani rupee, which would made us more dependent on foreign loans.
He said Pakistan should further accelerate pace of CPEC projects and also start some indigenous economic corridors, especially along the highways from Karachi to Hyderabad and from Karachi to Keti Bandar to end unemployment and boost employment. He said the model of the Delhi-Mumbai Industrial Corridor could be easily replicated in this regard.
He said modernization of agriculture, by using saline cropping, drip irrigation and other modern technologies is necessary to end unemployment in rural areas and to make Pakistan self-sufficient in food. He said if the coming government focuses on two things only, solar energy and drip irrigation, the sagging economy of Pakistan could be easily salvaged.
Pasban leader said we are demanding a constitutional megacity status for Karachi and Lahore, adding we have also been demanding upgrading of commuting system in the megacity Karachi, adding is a shame that even towns like Multan and Lodhran have better public transport systems than Karachi He said we also demand opening at least one government-run university and one teaching hospital in every district of Pakistan to improve education and healthcare delivery.
Altaf Shakoor asked that the ruling elite should refrain from getting new foreign loans, especially another IMF program and instead look for other available alternatives for saving this country from financial default on one hand and to put this nation on the way of a sustainable economic growth on the other.