Rejecting criticism over seeking the International Monetary Fund (IMF) bailout package, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Wednesday said it will take at least six months before the corrective economic measures taken by his government start showing results.
The prime minister said a whopping current account deficit, unprecedented loans and dwindling exports forced the government to obtain the fresh loan to bridge current account gap of $10-12 billion.
However, he said the prevailing economic meltdown would not last long while assuring the countrymen he would steer the country out of the economic crisis.
“Have courage and faith in your government. Just relax. It’s a short but tough financial span and we will successfully go through it,” Imran advised the countrymen, saying good days were not far for Pakistanis and soon he would give a complete roadmap to get out of the prevailing tough times.
He said his government’s critics had tried to create chaos in the country during the last two days over the government’s decision to approach the IMF. “An impression has been created as if the sky is going to fall.”
The prime minister said the PTI government inherited $18 billion current account deficit, which was $3 billion when the PML-N government came to power in 2013.
Similarly, he said during the last 10 years, the country’s debt surged from Rs6 trillion to Rs30 trillion, while the exports also shrank by $5 billion.
“Right now, we do not have enough money to pay installments of the loans obtained by the previous government and pay for the imports.
The government is facing a shortfall of $10-12 billion right now,” Imran observed, adding it was time to pay for the corruption of the past government.
“In simple words, the government urgently needs $10-12 billion – it is the same amount laundered annually from Pakistan. Provided we stop money laundering we will not be requiring to go for the loan,” he said, adding nearly $20 billion foreign remittances were annually sent to Pakistan though informal channels.
He said the government had two options – either to request friendly countries to help us bridge this financial gap or to approach the IMF. “We are exercising both the options.”
The reforms the PTI government had introduced would be reflected at least after six months.
“We are reducing our expenditures, broadening the tax base, taking steps to benefit industries, and environment initiatives. Our corrective measures — including a clampdown on money laundering — will take some time to be reflected on ground,” he said.