The book launch ceremony of ‘Alternative to the IMF: And Other Out of the Box Solutions’ by Dr. Shahida Wizarat was held on Thursday, January 26, 2023. Bashir Janmohammad, Chancellor IoBM was the honorary Chief Guest at the occasion.
He was accompanied by some distinguished speakers including Ambassador (Retired) Syed Hasan Javed, Pakistan’s Former Ambassador to Germany, Singapore, and Mauritius; Engineer Abdul Jabbar, VP FPCCI; and Azhar Jamil, Chairman Citizens Alliance and Qaumi Mahaz-e-Azadi.
During his welcome address, Talib Karim, President IoBM, said that the IMF had been in the news, particularly with regard to Pakistan’s economy. He urged the need to develop a short-term strategy on how to repay debts that Pakistan owes. “I hope that the right people will read this book and implement the ideas presented,” he added.
Expressing his opinion on the facts and perspectives provided in the book, Ambassador Hasan Javed said, “This book is a remarkable addition to the literature available on this subject. It should be read by political leaders and scholars in developing countries.”
He further added that the book includes a list of economic problems with strategic clarity.
“Dr. Wizarat’s insights and knowledge on economics are for a global audience,” he said, adding that Pakistan has resources, but lacks resourcefulness.
Engineer Abdul Jabbar said that the sixty-seven chapters of the book touch on past economic events that altered Pakistan’s relations with the IMF.
He said, “IMF’s decisions and policies should be scrutinized by the developing countries to resolve their economic crisis.” Engineer Jabbar added that, “Dr. Wizarat presents solutions to an array of economic problems.”
Speaking at the event, Azhar Jamil said that Pakistan had an opportunity to put its house in order during the rule of Pervez Musharraf. He added that the tax structure should be equally distributed among the citizens as the burden was more on the poor.
“We need to present a detailed reform agenda that is approved by a national consensus to give Pakistan’s economic solutions.”
During her address, Dr. Shahida Wizarat said that the book includes strategies to resolve the crisis without the need to use foreign exchange reserves.
“We do not go to the IMF, we are taken to the IMF,” she added. “IMF program is not about reforms. It is a connection between the opportunities and the IMF where the burden is on the middle and lower classes.”
She suggested increasing the quality of exports and prioritizing the goods to be exported including the ban on the import of luxurious goods.
She mentioned the various crises facing Pakistan including political, constitutional, and economic, among others. “Those in the corridors of power should not pursue IMF’s policies and find a substitute solution at the earliest.”
Chief Guest, Bashir Janmohammad, said the book has various subjects that are connected to the IMF. He said it is difficult for Pakistan to pursue alternate options other than to continue with the IMF.
“The economic situation is so precarious because we have been following the IMF’s policies and we cannot get out of it at once. Dr. Wizarat’s book must be read to give a holistic outlook of what has been wronged and how to rectify the policies.”
The Rector, Deans, faculty members, and management of IoBM were also present at the occasion.