Pakistani Government to Seek Help from IMF to Mitigate the Impact of the Pandemic

On Tuesday, the Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan revealed that his government is soon going to be approaching the International Monetary Fund (IMF). This, he said, is because the country requires another relief package because the third wave of the coronavirus pandemic has delivered a serious blow to the economy. Moreover, the most in trouble at the moment is the service sector in Pakistan. 

Imran announced this while addressing the launch ceremony of the Pakistan National Human Development Report on Inequality of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP). He added that the main concern of his government right now is to ensure that the poor people in the country are able to fend for themselves amidst the pandemic. 

The premier went on to say that officials will speak to the IMF because experts have alerted of disruptions in the future. He expressed unhappiness at the fact that the entire situation, as well as the government’s Ehsaas Programme, will now have to be reevaluated just when the economy was on its way to recovery and positive indicators had surfaced. 

According to the Prime Minister, the service industry in Pakistan is suffering, as well as in other parts of the world. The meeting with the UNDP was attended by many notable individuals along with Asad Umar, the Minister for Planning, the Regional Director for Asia and the Pacific of the UNDP, Kanni Wignaraja. The latter attended via a video link. 

Imran warned that the third wave of the novel coronavirus is even scarier than the last two waves. He referred to a statement made by the Managing Director of the IMF, Kristalina Georgieva, which said that conditions will not be imposed on those individuals who are suffering because of the pandemic. 

As per the word of the premier, a civilized society is one that takes care of the weakest members of the population and the measures it takes to reduce inequality. 

The report was presented by Dr. Hafiz Pasha, the lead author, which explores the numerous dimensions of inequality that is abundant in Pakistan. These dimensions have been focused on in-depth at both provincial and national levels, going on to lay emphasis on the inequality within and between the different provinces. 

Imran Khan praised the report and asserted that all the things mentioned in the report are nothing less than ‘elite capture. However, he said, ‘elite capture’ is a major problem for Pakistan, as well as almost every other developing country. 

The Prime Minister explained how there is opulence on one hand and extreme poverty on the other. He talked about how the pandemic has affected the poor and led to their conditions worsening, whether they live in rich or poor countries. 

The premier further observed how some rich individuals have gotten even richer during this pandemic. He went on to term the Financial Accountability, Transparency, and Integrity Panel report as ‘shocking’. It revealed that $1 trillion in taxes leaves developing countries each year whereas, roughly $7 trillion is laundered out.