IMF to Pak: Function as a country first
ISLAMABAD: Cash-strapped Pakistan must take steps to ensure that its high earners pay taxes and only the poor get the subsidies if it wants to function as a country, the International Monetary Fund has said, amid looming fears of a default.
In an interview with the German state broadcaster Deutsche Welle on the sidelines of the Munich Security Conference in Germany on Friday, IMF chief Kristalina Georgieva said Pakistan needs to take strong measures to avoid getting into a “dangerous place” where its debt needs to be restructured.
She said the IMF was very clear that it wanted the poor people of Pakistan to be protected, the Dawn reported, “It shouldn’t be that the wealthy benefit from subsidies. It should be the poor [who] benefit from them,” she said.
“What we are asking for are steps Pakistan needs to take to be able to function as a country and not to get into a dangerous place where its debt needs to be restructured,” she said.
Pakistan was devastated by last year’s flash floods that hit one-third of its population. The IMF chief’s statement came days after the two sides concluded the ninth review of the $6.5 billion bailout package without a staff-level agreement after 10 days of talks.
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