Islamabad, 4 July, 2023 (GNP): The Prime Minister of Pakistan Shehbaz Sharif said on Monday that the International Monetary Fund (IMF) agreement is a “breather” and a “moment of concern” at the same time. He asked all the national institutions to make a collective effort to put the country on the road to progress and take it out of the need for loans.
PM Shehbaz at a Federal Cabinet meeting chaired by him, said that the institutions should jointly construct a framework for at least 15 years to work on the country’s economic tribulation while remaining within their respective domains.
Moreover, he stated that the country needed vision, unity, hard work, and also sacrifice by the wealthy people to get Pakistan out of the requirement of loans.
“If we opt for this course, no one can stop the country from achieving progress,” the premier added.
Furthermore, Shehbaz appreciated all cabinet members, specifically Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and his ministry and Foreign Minister Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, and the Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) for their efforts to assist Pakistan in achieving the nine-month stand-by agreement of $3 billion.
He prayed that this may be the last deal with the IMF. Shehbaz further said that it is easier to say but difficult to do.
The premier stated that Pakistan would get the first installment of $1.1 billion in a few days under the IMF deal.
He also showed gratitude towards the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres for his immense support in the restoration of the IMF agreement and for offering further help if needed in the process.
The prime minister said that the government thanked China as it supported Pakistan at hard times by rolling over $5 billion of sovereign and commercial bank loans.
He further said that the situation would worsen if China had not made the rollover during the last three months. “The people of Pakistan should never forget this,” he added.
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Shehbaz also thanked Saudi Arabia for granting $2 billion, and the United Arab Emirates and Islamic Development Bank for $1 billion each for Pakistan.
He gave due credit to Chief of the Army Staff General Asim Munir for his prominent role and praiseworthy efforts to obtain support from Saudi Arabia and the UAE for a total of $3 billion.
The prime minister appreciated the team efforts of state actors that saved Pakistan economically and urged the cabinet members to form a policy framework during the remaining 40-42 days of the government’s term that will help in directing the country towards a progressive future.