“Pakistan `Will Have to Agree` to IMF Conditions for Bailout”
Desk Report || risingbd.com
Pakistan's Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Friday the government would have to agree to IMF bailout conditions that are "beyond imagination."
An International Monetary Fund delegation landed in Pakistan on Tuesday for last-ditch talks to revive vital financial aid that has stalled for months, reports voanews.com.
The government has held out against tax rises and subsidy slashing demanded by the IMF, fearful of backlash ahead of elections due in October.
"I will not go into the details but will only say that our economic challenge is unimaginable. The conditions we will have to agree to with the IMF are beyond imagination. But we will have to agree with the conditions," Sharif said in televised comments.
Pakistan's economy is in dire straits, stricken by a balance of payments crisis as it attempts to service high levels of external debt, amid political chaos and deteriorating security.
The country's central bank said Thursday its foreign exchange reserves had dropped again to $3.1 billion, which analysts said was enough for less than three weeks of imports.
Data on Wednesday showed year-on-year inflation had risen to a 48-year high, leaving Pakistanis struggling to afford basic food items.