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Pakistan's economy struggles under combined burden of external, domestic debt: Report

ANI | Updated: Jan 19, 2022 14:04 IST

Islamabad [Pakistan], January 19 (ANI): Pakistan's economy struggles under the combined burden of external and domestic debt, spiraling inflation, sharply depreciating Rupee, widening trade deficit, and other macro and micro-economic parameters, shows a recent report.
According to Islam Khabar, the Pakistan government is trying to address this economic crisis through external assistance.
Ironically, on one hand, Islamabad has sought a bailout from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) through its Extended Fund Facility (EFF) which has stringent conditions while on the other hand, it expects China to be a savior.
Islam Khabar reported that the government is struggling between the Western-driven efforts through the IMF to institute some discipline and austerity and the Chinese market-averse investment strategy with its insistence on sovereign guarantees and exclusivity to ensure the profitability of its State-owned enterprises.
Pakistan as it faces increased economic pressure may be forced to seek a new International Monetary Fund loan (IMF) to meet its gross financial needs.

Pakistan's gross financing requirements are estimated to go up to USD 30 billion in the next budget for 2022-23, leaving no other options for the Imran Khan government but to seek a fresh IMF loan after the expiry of the existing programme in September 2022, according to News International.
If Islamabad manages successfully to revive the existing stalled programme of USD 6 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF) of the IMF after completion of the sixth review, then two more reviews seventh and eighth would be required to be accomplished till September 2022 for qualifying to complete the 39-month EFF programme, according to News International.
Meanwhile, Pakistan's federal cabinet recently approved its National Security Policy, which advises refraining from getting loans from the IMF and other multilateral creditors.
Further, Islamabad could only avoid seeking the IMF loan, provided the country manages to boost up non-debt creating dollar inflows through raising Pakistan-made ups exports, remittances, and foreign direct investment (FDI) in a substantial manner.
The policy of restricting imports does not provide permanent solutions, mainly because Islamabad had to rely heavily on imports on account of getting raw material to increase the exports, according to a World Bank report.
The IMF has assessed that Pakistan's gross financing requirement will be standing at USD 28 billion in the next fiscal year 2022-23 but keeping in view the higher current account deficit projections, it is expected that the overall external financing requirement will cross USD 30 billion mark in the next fiscal year.
The Pakistani authorities will need a serious plan that how this kind of elevated foreign financing requirement will be met as the IMF programme comes to an end in September 2022, according to News International. (ANI)