Delivering on commitments with IMF critical to unlock multi-lateral cash flow

Zubair Qureshi

Executive Director, Sustainable Development Policy Institute (SDPI) Dr Abid Qaiyum Suleri has remarked that the permacrisis which is a series of crisis occurring globally one after the other, has exacerbated the global inflation crisis, with inflation in Pakistan rising to 24.5 per cent currently. He was speaking at seminar on “Pakistan’s Economy and Debt Challenges” organized by SDPI here on Saturday.

Dr Suleri suggested that political instability globally and nationally have contributed to exacerbate the economic crisis developing into a vicious cycle. In past few years, Pakistan has managed to sail smoothly amidst the intensifying geo-political tensions, however, the future developments seem concerning. He stressed that “We must remain politically correct with the West since loans from even friendly countries have become conditional to being able to secure the next loan installment from IMF.” Now is perhaps time, political forces in Pakistan realize that IMF is a must despite its tough conditionalities; for the political capital taking non-popular decisions is inevitable, he said. “We should support the current government in availing the current IMF program and after the elections, the next government as well and demonizing IMF and international finance partners will not do any good,” said Dr Suleri.

He warned that Pakistan is on the brink of a crisis like Sri Lanka which needs to be averted otherwise the county will even be able to import essential goods like medicines and fuel for transport. He said that preempting such events, “the government needs to strengthen social protection to cushion the lower income segments during economic crisis.”

Referring to the recent international financing pledges he said that we cannot rely on the pledges to shore up our foreign exchange reserves as even in past half failed to materialize while the other half were transformed and remodeled into loans which will only add to the current challenges.

He suggested that NDRMF should do follow up on Geneva Convention pledges, present do-able project proposals to avail these pledges.