Fuel prices up by 113 per cent in February, inflation breaking records at 38.4 per cent, and people fighting for flour in the streets, offers a glimpse of Pakistan's grim economic crisis. Hit by a food crisis after a devastating flood and political turmoil, Pakistan also suffered rejection from IMF for its debt resolution proposal. Now the ex-deputy governor of State Bank of Pakistan has revealed that the country asked IMF to rescue it 23 times in 75 years.
Murtaza Syed also added that in comparison to Pakistan, India had only approached the global fund seven times. He mentioned that India never had to ask IMF to rescue it since the economic reforms of 1991.
Looking at Pakistan's dismal forex reserves, which have dwindled below $3 billion, Syed highlighted how Bangladesh has $35 billion while his own country's foreign assets peaked at $21 billion. Since the early 90s, Bangladesh only needed IMF's help thrice, while Pakistan had 11 programmes.
Apart from inflation and forex reserves close to running out completely, Pakistan's Rupee is in a free fall. The country isn't producing enough while it spends too much, and is highly dependent on foreign funds for survival. This support was also jeopardised by Trump's decision to pause aide to Pakistan, and now another Republican candidate Nikki Haley has promised to do the same, if she becomes US President.
Pakistan isn't in a position to clear a $73 billion debt, which it is supposed to repay in the next three years. Even if IMF offers it another bailout, the country will have to go for debt restructuring later on.
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