Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif said Wednesday that the fears of Pakistan’s default have “ended” following the “prudent policies of the government”.
However, the prime minister’s opinions differed from those of more than a dozen economists, who think that Pakistan now faces a fresh risk of recession due to a growing political and economic crisis and a holdup in the IMF bailout program’s revival.
There have been worries that Pakistan would have to stop making debt payments after the cash-strapped country missed several deadlines to secure funds to avert a default.
The premier, who took office in April of last year, told a group of editors from the Council of Pakistan Newspapers in Islamabad that the alliance government is working continuously to get the economy out of the current “quagmire” and put the nation on the path to growth and prosperity.
Conflicts broke out this week when police attempted to detain Imran Khan, the leader of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) and a former prime minister who has been calling for early elections since being ousted by a no-confidence vote in April of last year.
To boost its $350 billion economy, relieve severe shortages, and replenish its foreign exchange reserves, Pakistan needs money. The country’s dollar reserves have decreased to less than a month’s worth of imports, making it difficult for it to finance purchases made abroad, leaving thousands of containers of supplies stranded at ports, forcing the closure of plants, and jeopardizing tens of thousands of jobs.
The prime minister stated that he was certain that an agreement with the IMF would be signed very soon in order to restart the $350 billion economy. This is a claim that he and Finance Minister Ishaq Dar have been exchanging back and forth without success.