But, no decision to approach IMF, says FM Umar

Islamabad : Cash-strapped Pakistan needs $9 billion to meet the current account deficit, but no decision has been taken to approach the IMF for loans, the country’s new finance minister Asad Umar said on Friday. Pakistan is passing through tough economic circumstances. Its debt in the last 10 years has spiralled to Rs 28 trillion, and the new Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) government faces the challenge of turning around the economy.

Umar after winning the July 25 elections had said the country needed $12 billion urgently. “The number that we need to borrow, according to the budget, is $9 billion…But we are trying to address the root cause that compels us to borrow these $9 billion,” Umar said, while responding to question in the Senate, the upper house of Parliament.

He said measures being contemplated to improve the country’s economy will start bearing fruit in two or three years, and in the meantime, the country would borrow.

The Minister said the government was also working on a plan to bridge the gap.

“As soon as our plan gets finalised, which it should be within one to two weeks, we will present in before the Parliament, and then we will also seek suggestions from the National Assembly and Senate to improve it further,” he said. The FM said it was not yet decided to approach the IMF for loans to overcome the current situation.

Umar also said that tax reforms strategy will be introduced by the government to increase tax base in the country. Currently, one million people were filling their tax returns which can be enhanced to three million. PM Imran Khan will chair a high-level meet on Monday to discuss issues relating to currency smuggling and money service providers.

Sex abuse cases of kids surge in 2018

A total of 2,322 child abuse cases were reported across Pakistan in the first six months of 2018, a 32% jump as compared to the first half of 2017, said a report by NGO working on protection of children against violence.

The ‘Cruel Numbers Report’ having data from January to June 2018 has been compiled the NGO Sahil based on the news stories in the main newspapers all over Pakistan.

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