Govt in no hurry to sign IMF agreement: Asad Umar

Finance Minister Asad Umar on Friday assured the nation that signing the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) would suit the nation and economy of the country.

Speaking in the National Assembly, the minister said that the government would not sign the agreement in pressure and they were in no hurry to accept the IMF package as alternative arrangements have been made to address immediate economic needs of the country.

He said that they would not make any decision which increase difficulties of the people. Asad Umar made it clear that the government would only sign such an IMF package, which is in the interest of Pakistan’s economy and the people.

The Finance Minister said, “Pakistan has already signed an economic assistance package with Saudi Arabia while talks with other friendly countries are underway.”

Asad Umar said that 15.50 per cent increase has been witnessed in the remittances during the first month of the present government while 20 per cent was witnessed in the second month.

He said that the overseas Pakistanis have sent additional one billion dollars to Pakistan during the three months’ time.

About the prices of petroleum, the Finance Minister said they have substantially reduced taxes on the diesel five times lower as compare to the previous government.

He said government was taking steps for strengthening the economy of the country and added, “We have to take steps to reduce trade, current account and budget deficits.”

The minister said the budget deficit was 4.1 per cent in last years but after general elections, the deficit of the budget is now 6.6 percent which is Rs 900 billion.

Criticizing the opposition, Asad Umar said that the Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif had taken an unmatched U-turn as he had vowed to drag Asif Ali Zardari in streets and hang him but now, he was praising the same Zardari.

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