Hammad warns IMF conditions to push inflation 40% high

ISLAMABAD: Former energy minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leader Hammad Azhar Sunday warned that inflation will further rise by 40% if the PDM’s coalition government accepts the International Monetary Fund’s (IMF) conditions to finalise the ninth review of Pakistan’s $7 billion Extended Fund Facility (EFF). Addressing a ceremony, the former minister also said that a severe crisis of food items lies ahead. Lashing out at the PML-N-led coalition government, he said that the economy has been brought on the verge of col-lapse during the past nine months. Prime Minister Shehbaz Sharif, he said, should take the nation into confidence on the issues. “Pakistan will have to decide on a new programme with the IMF as the ongoing deal with the international lending body will expire in June this year. Hence, it is necessary that there should be a newly-elected government in Islamabad that strikes a new deal with the lending body.”

Stressing the need for early elections and continuity of policies, the PTI leader said that a government that has a man-date of 5 years can take this decision. “The country is heading towards disaster. An unpopular and non-serious gov-ernment cannot steer the country out of the ongoing crisis.”

Taking a dig at the leadership of the incumbent government, the former minister said, “You came into power to get quashed the cases lodged against you. You ruined the country.”

The people will have to face a tough time in days to come, he said, adding that the upcoming time would be harder if the coalition government does not approach the IMF, Azhar warned. “There would be a disaster if we do not go to IMF.”

Lashing out at the government, the PTI leader said letters of credit (LCs) for raw materials are not opened and 40% of the country’s industries have closed down. –Agencies