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KARACHI: The Chairman of the National Business Group and President of Pakistan Businessmen and Intellectuals Forum, Mian Zahid Hussain, has welcomed Pakistan's re-entry into the $6-billion IMF programme. The development would improve confidence of the developed world and international institutions, but it would be at a cost, he said.

Mian Zahid Hussain said that the process of reforms was underway for decades, but the focus was not national development but to please the lenders. He said that the IMF directives had damaged the economy before the pandemic, and it was feared that with the new development the people would have to face a new round of inflation, unemployment and business closures.

He said that the economy and the people could not withstand the harsh IMF conditions which included cutting of developmental spending, reducing subsidies, increasing taxes and hiking power and gas tariffs. The so-called reforms would push many businesses into losses while withdrawal of corporate tax exemptions to the tune of Rs140 billion would hit confidence and new investments, he observed. He said that the IMF had never pushed Pakistan to reduce inefficiency and corruption but it had always targeted the poor.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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