In an effort to save $200 billion and keep the government afloat as it prepares to comply with IMF requirements, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif revealed a slew of austerity measures on Wednesday.
Pakistan is failing to comply with the IMF’s stringent requirements despite its desperation to access the next tranche of its $1.1 billion credit facility.
Pakistan is under pressure from the IMF to increase its pitifully meagre tax base, eliminate exemptions for the export industry, and increase artificially low energy prices that are designed to aid low-income families.
The country is in desperate need of money as it fights a devastating economic crisis, since the foreign exchange reserves held by the State Bank of Pakistan (SBP) barely cover one month’s worth of imports.
The premier said that the ministers and advisers to the premier had “voluntarily” opted not to accept wages from the government in order to save millions for the national exchequer while speaking at a press conference surrounded by the leadership of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM).