Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif on Thursday said that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) does not trust Pakistan as the previous government backed out of its agreement with the institution.
Addressing a meeting of his party’s senators in Islamabad, the prime minister said the PTI-led government should not have agreed on the terms of the fund, if there were any issues with it, once an agreement was signed. After leaving, it should have been implemented.
“The IMF was adamant on us fulfilling all the terms of the agreement […] It was a difficult phase and I want to say that more difficulties are yet to come.”
The premier said that the terms of the agreement with the IMF have been finalised, with the hope that matters will be resolved in the next few days. However, he warned that once the deal is signed, the situation will not improve overnight.
“Will prosperity come overnight after a deal is signed? Not at all […] We have to strengthen our financial position.”
He said that it is the responsibility of the government, cabinet and state institutions to take the country towards prosperity.
“We have to rise above personal interests and work hard to make decisions that will make us rich.”
He said that the government has given a relief package in which the common man will get Rs 2,000 every month. “More measures will be taken to provide relief.”
Talking about the budget for the new financial year, PM Shahbaz said that a “real tax” is being levied on the net income of rich citizens.
The Prime Minister said that he would address the nation in the next few days and brief them about the steps taken by the government to improve the economic situation.
Reiterating his message of working together for the betterment of the country, the Prime Minister said that nations are built by hard work and blood, sweat and tears.
“That is the approach we have to adopt and I am ready to work together with our allies and institutions to make this country prosperous.”
The premier also talked about a $2.3 billion loan from China, thanking the neighboring country for helping him during these trying times.
He attributed the country’s economic crisis to the habit of asking for loans. He added that “crying over the past” will not fix the current issues. Our fortunes will change if we change our ways and reform, he said, adding that the country has been blessed with natural wealth and resources.
“How long will China help us? Saudi Arabia must be wondering when their brothers will learn to stand on their own feet,” remarked PM Shahbaz.
PM Shahbaz also said that it caused great pain to the PML-N-led coalition government to hike petrol prices, but added that its priorities were states first, then politics.