Pakistan will default if fuel subsidies not abolished by July: Miftah Ismail
While addressing a post budget conference in Islamabad, Finance Minister Miftah Ismail said that Pakistan will default if the government does not abolish the subsidies on petroleum products till July, adding that, “The International Monetary Fund (IMF) has insisted on abolishing the subsidies on petroleum products.”
He said that Pakistani rupee has fallen by more than 100% and there is a shortage of fuel and medicines.
MIftah Ismail said that Pakistan is a dignified country, we have nuclear assets, we have army, we have such a large population so why are we facing economic crisis.
He said India has $600 billion in foreign exchange reserves, Bangladesh’s current account deficit is higher than ours this year but they have $50-40 billion reserves so that is not a problem.
Miftah further said that when there is a new prime minister or president in Pakistan, he has to go to China, Saudi Arabia to bring packages.
“We will move forward on the day when we decide to stand on our own two feet by sending a curse on this money, otherwise history will remember us very badly,” he said.
The Finance Minister said that when Bangladesh and Pakistan were separated then the per capita GDP of West Pakistan was 50% higher. Bangladesh had no exports except for Pitson and was a hurricane-hit country.
“But they made themselves and we didn’t, we just stood there,” he said.
Miftah Ismail said that 10, 15 years ago, ministers used to compare Pakistan with Malaysia and Thailand, today they compare with Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.
“We owe the world $21 billion next year, while our foreign exchange reserves are $9 billion,” he said.
He said that the loan of $9.5 billion from the World Bank has been approved and is kept in EAD but not a single penny will come if the IMF program is not approved.