High hopes and expectations are set from the newly elected PTI government in Pakistan led by Imran Khan.
The Finance Minister of the new government Asad Umar claims that the federal government needs $9 billion to run Pakistan.
Finance Minister told the Senate, “The number that we need to borrow, according to the budget, is $9 billion. But we are trying to address the root cause that compels us to borrow these $9bn. Of course, we know any measures [we take] will take time — maybe even two or three years — to bear fruit.”
Adding, “In the meantime, whatever gap there is, we are calculating. As soon as our plan gets finalized, which it should within one to two weeks, we will present in before the parliament, and then we will also seek suggestions from the National Assembly and Senate to improve it further.”
Asad Umar cleared that the decision as to whether the new government will approach International Monetary Fund (IMF) for loans or not will be taken after consultation and then the parliament will be taken into confidence.
Umar further cleared that the Financial Action Task Force (FATF) delegation visited Pakistan for a routine evaluation.
He said, “It was a FATF delegation but it was here for a separate exercise of mutual evaluation, which is conducted after every four or five years. Even if we were not on the FATF grey list, this delegation would still have come.”
Adding, “the next FATF quarterly review will take place in Jakarta on September 11 and 12. They have identified 27 deficiencies in three broad categories, the first of which is currency smuggling. The second is the Havala/Hundi businesses and the third is related with potential terror financing of proscribed organizations. To deal with this, a National Executive Committee has been formed. It is chaired by the finance minister (and it has several national institutions such as the FIA, NAB, SECP, etc. Our own review will take place on September 8 and be completed before the next FATF review. We have already identified the action steps needed to remove the 27 deficiencies, and also assigned responsibilities.”