'No Way Forward For Economy Without Slashing Military, Bureaucracy Expenditure'

'No Way Forward For Economy Without Slashing Military, Bureaucracy Expenditure'

The IMF wants Pakistan to reduce its budget deficit, but the country has no plan to do so, says economist Dr Kaiser Bengali.

He told Khabar Say Aagay host Raza Rumi that the deficit can only be reduced through slashing military and bureaucracy expenditure.

The fact is that without this, there is going to be no way forward for the country's economy, he added.

The economist added that the situation isn't in the hands of the government; the decision is to be made by the army and the bureaucracy.

Kaiser also called for abolishing 15 to 20 ministries and shutting down departments such as the post office.

He said those involved in property businesses aren't properly taxed. "There's a need to improve the structure of the industries enjoying subsidies from the state."

On Peshawar attack, Rifatullah Orakzai said it's a security failure. "It is time for the government to take concrete measures; condemnations alone won't work."

Shahbaz Rana said that the international lender was in a position to have all of its conditions approved.

"Taxes alone won't resolve it; we will have to end subsidies on gas and power. The government is still not making tough decisions."

Fauzia Yazdani pointed out the vast money being spent on election preparation. The polls in 33 constituencies will incur some Rs14 billion, she added.

Murtaza Solangi said, "We cannot run this country on borrowed dollars any longer; reforms are inevitable."

A delegation of International Monetary Fund (IMF) will visit Pakistan from January 31 to February 9 as part of the 9th review of the $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF), according to an official.

The country had entered a $6 billion programme of the global lender in 2019, which was later increased to $7 billion.

The talks could result into the release of the much-awaited $1.18bn, as the country continues to battle a critical financial crisis.

It had been delayed for two months owing to the government’s unwillingness to accept some conditions put forth by the Fund.

On Jan 24, Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said that Pakistan had shown its willingness to the IMF to enter a deal. The statement came as the country continued to battle a financial crisis.

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