ISLAMABAD: Finance Minister Asad Umar on Tuesday said Pakistan had not yet decided to go for a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund (IMF).
“Consultations on the current economic situation are under way, and a final decision in this regard will be taken after taking parliament on board,” Umar said while speaking in the Senate.
Replying to PPP Senator and former Senate Chairman Mian Raza Rabbani’s concerns about the US statement that it would make sure the IMF loans would not be used to pay back China’s loans under the CPEC, Asad said Pakistan was yet to take a decision on seeking a bailout package from the International Monetary Fund [IMF]. He contended that if the government decided to go to the IMF, then it would not be the first occasion, as Pakistan had already approached the donor agency 12 times.
However, he maintained that it was against the facts to say that the IMF loan would be obtained to pay back to China, as bulk of loans Pakistan secured were not from China. The minister explained that consultations on the grave economic situation were continuing and the final decision would be taken after taking parliament on board and taking its input.
About the National Finance Commission (NFC) Award, the minister said it was a constitutional obligation and on the first day in his office, he directed the finance secretary to initiate the process for the new NFC Award, saying it would be his utmost endeavor to announce new NFC Award at the earliest.
Adviser on Parliamentary Affairs Babar Awan informed the House that Pakistan was continuously trying to engage the Afghan government into dialogue for a possible water treaty. He said the Afghan side was so far non-responsive to the initiative.
Baber Awan said construction of new hydropower projects in Afghanistan would certainly have some impact on the water inflows into the country. He said an Afghanistan cell had been established in the office of Pakistan Commissioner for Indus Waters which collected data through different sources and monitored inflows on the common rivers with Afghanistan.
Minister for Petroleum Division Ghulam Sarwar Khan said they would try that Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India [TAPI] was completed during the tenure of the present government. He said this was an important energy project and a company had been constituted to oversee its construction.
(This news/article originally appeared in The News on August 29th, 2018)