Saturday, December 2, 2023

Pakistan to ask IMF for 2nd Covid relief package

As Covid-19 affected Pakistan’s financial situation badly, Prime Minister Imran Khan would ask the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for a second relief package.

“We are going to talk to the IMF because we see disruptions ahead. Just when our economy was recovering and all indicators were positive, unfortunately, we will have to review the whole situation and our new Ehsaas Program“.

“As the service industry has been hit hard all over the world, except in Pakistan, our service industry has been hard hit,” said the prime minister during the launching ceremony of the Pakistan National Human Development Report of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) on Inequality.

The Prime minister said that the IMF’s strict conditions could not be applied to people, who are already suffering because of the pandemic.

Federal Minister of Planning Asad Umar was also present at the event, with the virtual presence of the assistant secretary-general, assistant administrator, and regional director of UNDP for Asia and the Pacific Kanni Wignaraja.

The report, presented by the lead author, Dr. Hafiz Pasha, explores the many ways of inequality in Pakistan. These dimensions were taken at the national and provincial levels, exploring the inequality between and also within Pakistan’s provinces.

Also, inequality was measured from the perspective of people with a focus on children, work, youth, and women. The report takes a comprehensive approach, exploring not only economic measures, such as income and wealth but also studying inequalities in human development – the true measure of a country’s success.

The prime minister said Pakistan having a third wave much worse than the first.

He said that in the United States, with a population of 330 million, about $ 4 trillion was given to people affected by Covid as opposed to Pakistan, which distributed only $ 8 billion among a population of $ 220 million.
“So I think it’s time for the second package and we are going to talk to the IMF,” said the prime minister.

“A civilized society is defined by the way it takes care of its weakest part of the population. It is not defined by the way of life of the rich ”, said the prime minister.

Moreover, the pandemic and its global impact on the economy may favor Pakistan over the IMF.

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