Islamabad : The managing director of the International Monetary Fund (IMF), Kristalina Georgieva, has said the funding agency has asked Pakistan to take steps to be able to function as a country and not get into a dangerous place where it needs debt restructuring, The News International, a Pakistan daily, reported.
"My heart goes out to the people of Pakistan. They have been devastated by the floods that affected one-third of the population of the country," Georgieva said in an interview with an international broadcaster on Sunday.
"We are emphasising two things -- number one, raising tax revenues, as those who are making good money in public or private sectors, need to contribute to the economy, and, number two, a fairer distribution of precious resources by taking subsidies away from people who don't need them. It shouldn't be that the wealthy benefit from subsidies. It should be the poor [who] benefit from them," she said, as quoted by The News International newspaper.
"And there, we are very clear. We want the poor people of Pakistan to be protected," she added.
Islam Khabar recently reported that Pakistan's historic high in petrol price and the International Monetary Fund's delay in sending loan is pushing the country's economy into a 'tailspin'.
Last week, Pakistan hiked the prices of petrol to Pakistani Rupees (Rs) 272 per litre to appease the IMF for unlocking the critical loan tranche, reported Geo News.
The petrol price has been increased to Rs 272 per litre after an increase of Rs 22.20, a press release from the Finance Division read, noting that the surge has taken place due to the rupee's devaluation against the dollar, as per the Geo News report.
Pakistan is in panic after the IMF team that came to negotiate the details of a bailout package left without reaching a final agreement. This even after Finance Minister Ishaq Dar and Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif agreed to all the preconditions.
The IMF, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates have been interfering with Pakistan's polity. They have been calling for structural reforms in the economy when the people are suffering from delay in the release of the IMF's tranche, as per the news report.
IMF's statement on the talks underscored the gaps despite the progress made on the measures to remedy domestic and external imbalances. "The IMF's carefully crafted, short concluding statement on the ten-day loan talks further underscores these gaps, despite the "considerable progress" on measures to remedy domestic and external imbalances," Islam Khabar quoted Dawn's editorial as stating.