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Govt should rip apart IMF agreement, renegotiate new one, says Bilawal

KARACHI: PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto said Wednesday every Pakistani wished for the federal government to renegotiate terms with the International Monetary Fund (IMF), asking Prime Minister Imran Khan’s administration to rip apart the current agreement.

Speaking to the media outside the parliament, Bilawal said: “We are not saying that don’t go back to the IMF, we are emphasising on the fact the government should renegotiate the deal, keeping in mind Pakistan’s economy and how it runs, they should not accept the terms of the IMF completely.”

The Pakistan Bureau of Statistics (PBS) and the State Bank (SBP) — the government’s own institutions — have said that a record inflation has hit the country, he added.

“The SBP has said that even if you add up the loan procured by previous governments, it is less than that of the incumbent government,” the PPP chair noted. “The FBR has informed that the tax collection is currently at a shortfall of Rs400 billion.”

He said that when the opposition questioned the government about the shortfall, all they received were personal attacks instead of answers. “We can withstand their personal attacks but the people of the country belonging to every class cannot bear the government’s economic policies.

“Since this government has taken charge, journalists are not getting paid [and] it is tough for them to even run their own houses,” Bilawal expressed.

“Hafeez Shaikh was the finance minister in our tenure but he was not given such freedom in decision-making back then. The PPP-led government always made a deal with the IMF in accordance with the demands of Pakistanis,” he said.

When negotiating with the IMF, the government should not have compromised on its economic sovereignty and the people’s rights, Bilawal noted.

Criticising the finance adviser, he added that keeping aside what Bloomberg and IMF were saying, “the government should ask the people of Lahore, Hyderabad, Gunjrawala about their opinion”.

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